Kenny, SpongeBob's voice, said it's good work if you can get it.
"The only reason my family and I aren't living under a bridge is that I can go 'Dahahha!'" Kenny said. "How do you explain that? It's a very bizarre day job!"
Kenny and the rest of the cast practice by rehearsing around a table. When they finally record the show there are no added special effects for their voices.
"Nightline" was given special permission to speak with the Sponge himself -- but only by phone:
Nightline: I'm wondering, where could I get myself some "SquarePants"? Do you mind telling me where you shop?
SpongeBob: Not at all. I'd be happy to tell you. I buy them ... AT THE STORE!!!
Nightline: You seem to be working all the time. Do you ever take a vacation?
SpongeBob: Now that you mention it, it might be nice to go someplace far away where I could just relax and make some Krabby Patties!
Nightline: And finally, my kids really wanted me to ask you this -- what is the Krabby Patty secret formula?
SpongeBob: The Krabby Patty secret formula is ... something I can't tell you!
Nice try, Plankton!
Tibbitt, the executive producer, said the cast keeps the show young... and vice versa.
"All animators are a little immature," Tibbitt said. "You have to have part of you that didn't grow up to get away with getting paid to draw for a living."
Maybe that's it -- the secret formula that's turned an unlikely character into a global phenomenon. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be mature.