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  • Hello SpongeBob fans.

  • [cheering]

  • The gang is all here today, so let's just get them all out here.

  • I'm David Canfield with Entertainment Weekly,

  • I'm going to start bringing people out here,

  • first, co- executive producer and head writer, Mark Ceccarelli,

  • [applause]

  • Other co- executive producer and head writer, Vincent Waller.

  • [applause]

  • SpongeBob Square Pants, Tom Kenny.

  • [applause]

  • Patrick Star, Bill Fagerbakke.

  • [applause]

  • - Come on Bill, come on baby right there! - Right there.

  • Right there, I'm sitting' right here.

  • Right there, yeah.

  • - Woo! - Woo, yeah!

  • Squidward, Roger Bumpass.

  • [applause]

  • Roger Bumpass!

  • Get out of my front yard.

  • Sandy Cheeks, Carolyn Lawrence.

  • [applause]

  • Yee haw, y'all!

  • - What an outfit. - Full on spacesuit,

  • you are bringing it, girl.

  • Mr. Krabs, Clancy Brown.

  • [applause]

  • [laughing]

  • Clancy!

  • Wow.

  • And last but certainly not least, Plankton, Mr. Lawrence.

  • [applause]

  • Oh, yeah!

  • We've never seen his face!

  • Wow, if you unmask a luchador,

  • he loses all honor if you take his mask off.

  • It's like Lucha Libre.

  • That has to go back to the Smithsonian this afternoon, sorry.

  • Welcome, everybody, how you guys feeling?

  • 20 years, just picked up for another season.

  • [cheering]

  • The rent is paid.

  • And nobody really showed up for you, but that's OK.

  • Let's talk about this special.

  • It's a live action animation hybrid.

  • You get to 20 years, what was that decision process like

  • to be like, this is what we need to do for SpongeBob's 20th birthday?

  • It was about time for the characters to meet themselves.

  • [laughing]

  • Yeah, we needed a big stunt for this.

  • And we felt that seeing them up on land in their little water- mobile,

  • being able to see all the even weirder world of the surface world

  • that's even weirder than bikini bottom.

  • Yeah because previously on the show, in the series,

  • whenever they would come up above water, it was done so ghetto, right

  • where they would get all the Popsicle sticks and a real sponge.

  • Little stuffed squirrel.

  • You guys were on a little bigger budget this time, slightly.

  • Well that was also part of the trick, having to find a way

  • to get them on land when it didn't switch to that.

  • So we had to keep them wet

  • and therefore the aquarium design, wherever that is...

  • Oh, the bus, the water bus on wheels.

  • I love it.

  • Well, to go a little deeper into the production process for us,

  • what was it like to film and how did you guys

  • play the characters both in the animated and live action,

  • did it change your performances at all?

  • Oh, the only difference is, I mean, the job is kind of the same.

  • You're just trying to be a cartoon character

  • and make it as real as possible.

  • Like make it make sense.

  • But the thing that I hadn't done-- The thing I love about voice acting

  • is that it doesn't matter what your body's doing or how you look,

  • and suddenly you're really aware of your stupid body,

  • you know what I mean?

  • What do I do with my hands?

  • I'm usually just in the booth, going AHHHHH!!!!

  • This is true, this is true.

  • Well, what I did in my live action performance.

  • For 20 years we've been in the studio listening to each other do our parts,

  • but when I was standing there at the cash machine

  • and Pat was going, it was... uh.... it was...

  • [twilight zone theme]

  • - Yeah. - It was really surreal!

  • When I walked out on the set and Roger was already behind

  • the little boat cash register thing,

  • and he had his hands just like the picture on his T- shirt,

  • he had his hands on his hips, like that.

  • Yeah, it was kind of meta, I almost passed out.

  • I was the squid.

  • I'm afraid I became a very bad actor,

  • I couldn't concentrate at all.

  • Kenny, you've always been a bad actor, don't put yourself down.

  • It's nothing unusual.

  • I kept thinking... there's Roger? What's Roger doing here?

  • And why is he talking like Squidward?

  • Why isn't he Squidward? And then,

  • Oh my God look at Clancy! He's walking like Mr. Krabs!

  • That's hilarious, oh, I'm supposed to be talking here or something.

  • - Now you said what I was gonna say. - I got him.

  • I forgot I was so short.

  • [laughter]

  • I was impressed that Clancy, like Mr. Krabs,

  • Clancy was able to put the waistline of his pants up here.

  • Doesn't that hurt?

  • He's a soprano now.

  • I kept flubbing lines because Clancy was right in front of me

  • and Roger right in front of me the whole time,

  • and I just started watching them.

  • I'm like, wow, it's Clancy Brown doing Mr. Krabs.

  • I'm staring at him, oh, oh, it's me now, I have to act

  • That's the best line flub excuse I've ever heard.

  • That really was, yeah.

  • - He never memorized his lines. - I'm not a movie star.

  • You are now.

  • Carolyn you still have your suit on from the special?

  • Yes, I asked wardrobe when we shot that day,

  • I said please, please, please, please can I have it

  • so I can wear it to Comic Con? Please, please, please!

  • They wouldn't even give me an apron from the 99 cent store!

  • It's fun.

  • That's an acorn right there.

  • That was my idea, when they brought it up I said she's missing her acorn.

  • Nutsa!

  • And she usually wears a flower in her hair just like that.

  • Yes, she does.

  • I had to buy that one online on the Nickelodeon store website.

  • Really you should try to wear something else every now and then, Carolyn.

  • You don't have to wear it every day.

  • What did it feel like to put on those costumes for the first time

  • and really inhabit them in a totally new way?

  • I'd like to go back and do it again, I have new ideas now that we've seen it.

  • I was like, oh, I should have done that with her, and Oh!

  • What if we-- Yeah, so I don't know. Maybe we could it again.

  • I realized I probably don't need any green shorts.

  • [laughter]

  • Well, I think it's sort of in the SpongeBob tradition

  • of really pushing the boundaries, trying different forms.

  • Did you guys feel like making this, that it was a natural extension

  • of what you've been doing for the past 20 years now?

  • It was just another example of what our writers create.

  • Every episode there's some rich mine

  • for us to go in and go after.

  • there was give us a lot of--

  • like a pretty fun pool to swim around in every Wednesday

  • when we record the shows,

  • there's always something you can sink your teeth into

  • and get stupid with, you know.

  • This one had more layers than usual.

  • And then, you know, the Hasselhoff celebrity cameo.

  • I had not really seen Hasselhoff since the first movie in 2001

  • and he hugged me really tight.

  • - Yeah. - Yeah.

  • OK, David, OK, OK, let me out!

  • Did you guys have a favorite other celebrity cameo from this one?

  • - Oh, yeah. - Gilbert Gottfried.

  • Our hero.

  • Yes, happy birthday, SpongeBob!

  • - And how did he get that hat to do that? - Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

  • What other celebrities were in it?

  • - John Goodman. - Kel.

  • - Kel? - Oh Kel, yeah.

  • Come on, Good burger, where the Good Burger fans at?

  • - Yeah. - Super funny.

  • And there were times during that shoot

  • that I was looking at the monitor

  • and I was like, are they speeding him up?

  • And I looked and said, oh, my God, he's actually able to move that fast!

  • None of that was sped up, the whole dancing thing he was doing was insane.

  • I don't know if you guys saw the show, but they were just throwing

  • vats of baked beans onto underpaid extras.

  • - And it was cold right? - It was kind of a cold day, too.

  • It was a very cold day, when you see Tom jump in that ocean,

  • which, by the way, was his idea, Tom Wilson,

  • Biff from Back to the Future, of course.

  • He did that on his own, and it was cold where we were,

  • and it was colder in the Pacific Ocean, And when he came back up,

  • oh my God, what a trooper.

  • I think he's still blue.

  • Other than freezing water, what was the hardest thing to figure out

  • about getting this special together?

  • Well, we kind of did it backwards.

  • The way you usually do live action and animation

  • is you usually shoot your live action first and then

  • you use those as background plates to put your animated characters in.

  • We sort of storyboarded the whole thing out

  • and then because of our production schedule,

  • we had to animate all the animation first,

  • and then we had to make the live actors kind of fit into the animation.

  • But it worked out surprisingly well.

  • Our digital guy that works on SpongeBob,

  • that he's still alive is amazing because he was having to keep track of

  • all these shots, comparing storyboards with the direction and everything.

  • And there was nothing to look at other than, okay,

  • sort of in here, but it worked.

  • Those freaking Penguins and Mary Poppins made it look so easy.

  • How did they do it?

  • [laughing]

  • Were you guys worried that it wouldn't work?

  • Absolutely, always.

  • We were worried that everything we do might not work.

  • - Did it work? - Yeah, I guess it did.

  • I think it did.

  • - We're nothing without abject fear. - Oh, yeah, yes.

  • Insecurity is what drives all of us.

  • For the actors, what was your first reaction when you heard the idea?

  • Oh, brilliant, fantastic, I can't wait.

  • - Yeah. - Yeah, we're good to go.

  • It's funny, voiceover wise, I mean,

  • it was the same job as ever, you just go in there

  • and you do what you do and we clown around

  • and just try to make each other laugh.

  • The live action stuff was a little more bizarre,

  • like we were talking about it, but when I first heard about it,

  • I said yeah, wow, it's got patchy and it's got live action

  • and it's got people covered in baked beans

  • and SpongeBob and his friends driving around in a crazy car.

  • What's not to like?

  • Did you find it was a little harder in live action to do six arms?

  • I got in touch with my inner Indian goddess, Shiva.

  • Yeah. I got all Shiva with it.

  • What about for the rest of you?

  • I think we should have a live action series.

  • [laughter]

  • - Yeah. - It'd be fun.

  • It certainly was fun.

  • And we had everybody, right? We had Lori, who played Pearl.

  • - That's right. - Going into the fish store--

  • - Lori Allen? - Yeah, Lori Allen.

  • And Vince was coming out with the aquarium there,

  • and opening the door for Lori.

  • - Joe Tally's in there. - Yeah, Joe.

  • - Karen. - Yeah, Karen the computer was in there.

  • Shout out for Karen.

  • She's in an office, right, when the sprinklers go off.

  • - He's coming! - Yeah, yeah.

  • Well I believe we have a little behind the scenes video of the making...

  • - Woah! - I haven't seen this yet!

  • Awesome.

  • It's so dark.

  • We're here celebrating SpongeBob's big 20th birthday bash!

  • You remembered my birthday!

  • - I'm ready! - Yee haw!

  • [laughing]

  • The Trusty Slab?

  • Sounds familiar.

  • Action!

  • Slab patty, cooked just right, slab patty, day and night!

  • What a nifty, tasty sight, Slabby Patty cooked just right!

  • Slabby Patty, Slabby Patty, Slabby Patty, Slabby Patty,

  • Slabby Patty, Slabby Patty!

  • I love this guy!