Tom Kenny is entering his 15th year voicing SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon, and the beloved animated kids’ series shows no signs of slowing down. But that absorbent, yellow and porous goofball is just one of seemingly countless characters that Kenny voices, including Ice King on Adventure Time and (for the grownups) Woody on Brickleberry. Kenny took some time to use his own voice to answer our “5 Questions.”
You’re at a magazine rack and can only pick three titles. Which ones do you choose? I like old monster movies, so there’s a magazine called Monsters From the Vault. There’s an old rock ’n’ roll magazine called Kicks that I wish they’d start publishing again. Then ones I read regularly are The Nation and Mother Jones.
If your TV carried just three shows or networks, what would they be? My DVR right now is full of Turner Classic Movies; some of them that have been on there for two years [laughs]. My kids fill up my DVR with all the current Cartoon Network crop, like Adventure Time, Regular Show and Uncle Grandpa. And let’s see, man, I love ’50s and ’60s TV. I don’t watch a lot that’s current.
What has been your strangest fan encounter? I have had people come to my door trick-or-treating dressed as characters that I do and they don’t know that I’m the guy who does the voice. That’s kind of fun. Then there are a lot of tattoos. I’ve seen SpongeBob tattoos in places you wouldn’t expect to find SpongeBob. Nooks and crannies.
Tell us about a time when you were starstruck. When I was 16 years old in 1978, I met Muddy Waters, the blues great. I decided then and there if I ever had a kid I was going to name him after this guy, who started out as a sharecropper and then transformed postwar electric blues. And I did it. So, Muddy Waters’ real name is McKinley Morganfield and my 16-year-old son is named McKinley.
What are three things you have to have in your fridge or pantry? We tend to go pretty healthy: broccoli, carrots. But I do have a weakness for jalapeño Cheetos. If those come into the house, I’m eating the whole bag in one sitting.
SpongeBob SquarePants airs on Nickelodeon.
© Credit: Nickelodeon