'SpongeBob SquarePants' Mourns The Death Of Its Creator, Stephen Hillenburg

The small underwater town of Bikini Bottom and its inhabitants are now orphans.

On Monday November 26, Stephen Hillenburg, the father of SpongeBob SquarePants, passed away at the age of 57 as a result of a neurodegenerative disease. The Nickelodeon network, which has broadcast his series since 1999, announced the news and shared its sadness on Twitter. Hillenburg began his career as a professor of marine biology before creating SpongeBob and his buddies, taking great liberties with the subject he taught. 

"We are sad to share the news of the passing of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants. Today, we are observing a moment of silence to honor his life and work." Suffering from ALS, Stephen Hillenburg knew his condition was terminal when he announced the news in 2017. Nevertheless, he continued to work on his series, which now has no less than 242 episodes, right up until the very end.

The hero of the series, created in 1999, is a sponge, albeit one more like the yellow square we leave to go moldy next to the kitchen sink than the living specimen which inhabits the seabed. His best friend is a starfish, and he works in a crab burger restaurant owned by... a crab. But today, Bob, the disarmingly naive eternal optimist, is more likely to be crying than laughing. 

By Delphine Rivet, published on 28/11/2018