‘The Tidal Zone’ Exclusive Interviews With SpongeBob SquarePants Universal Cast

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From the iconic reefs of Bikini Bottom to the tiny-totted prequel world of Kamp Koral, the SpongeBob SquarePants universe is making its first mark on 2023 through a wacky multiversal special The Tidal Zone!

The special features an adventure into the many shows within the world of SpongeBob SquarePants including SpongeBob SquarePants, The Patrick Star Show, and the Paramount+ original series Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years. Following GrandPat through the many dimensions of this universe, the special showcases different stories involving the special SpongeBob hijinks we all know and love.

We were able to sit down and interview the cast of The Tidal Zone and hear hilarious insights and heartwarming honors to the famous franchise. The interviewees included Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Cree Summer, Jill Talley, and Dana Snyder. Check out our interview here!


THH: When you first heard that The Tidal Zone was Nickelodeon’s first big project of 2023, how’d you react? What did you think about it?

KENNY: I knew they were cooking something up. They were like, “Okay, we’re working on a mash-up/crossover of Kamp Koral, The Patrick Star Show, and [SpongeBob SquarePants]. We’re trying to figure out ways to mash, it’s gonna be a tentpole event, as they say in the network.” You know, they weren’t sure how they were gonna do that. I’m like: “What are you guys gonna do?” They were like, (shrugs) “We don’t know!” Once they got a handle on it, you know, a Hollywood Handle on it, once they cracked the code, it was just so beautiful. The bar was off the door and it was just weird as heck!

BROWN: I just said, “This is NEVER gonna work! I don’t know what they’re thinking! It was never gonna work!

SUMMER: Well, I just heard that, right before we did it, I got excited when I saw the script. I said, “What is going on,” which is what I usually say every time I get a script. But this one is going on further than the others, that’s for sure!

TALLEY: It’s so weird, it’s so out there that it’s hard to explain for all of us actors here on the show. It was just a little confusing for us: we’re slow. You’re recording different [things], you’re recording Kamp Koral, you’re recording [The Patrick Star Show]. And then what [post-production does], the magic they do with it later, we’re not as much a part of that like we’re doing our vocal stuff. And then it comes back and it’s all cool and put together like “See, it makes sense!

SNYDER: I had no clue what they were talking about! I saw it hours ago, that was the first time any of this made sense to me. So, I keep talking about The Tidal Zone: we were at New York Comic Con at the time, I got in the car, went home and asked the press people, “What is The Tidal Zone? I don’t understand what they’re talking about!” I didn’t know, I couldn’t figure it out.

THH: There seems to be a lot of movies and shows surrounding the idea of the multiverse and this special pulls a Twilight Zone twist on it. Was the Twilight Zone twist the original idea for this special?

FAGERBAKKE: That’s a great question, I would love to know that. You’d have to ask [Vincent Waller] and [Marc Ceccarelli] on that. Fans of [The Twilight Zone] loved it when they were younger and now when they’re adults and I also love it as an adult! Twilight Zone had that multi-generational appeal and it’s a really neat, suitable tie-in.

SNYDER: I know where you’re going with this, so in your face Marvel! You think you can ‘multiverse?’ Well, check out this one!

TALLEY: Whoever’s choice it was, I think it was a great choice and all of us are big fans of The Twilight Zone and it’s the perfect thing because this [universe] is so weird and it is a Twilight Zone. It is like “what the heck?” but it works! And just a little trivia: Tom Kenny’s mother went into labor while she was watching The Twilight Zone and she said she think’s that’s why he’s so weird!

THH: Out of the four stories presented in this special, which ones did you like the most?

FAGERBAKKE: I loved the robots! The visual creativity you have in there and then Karen as a human, you know, whatever she is. She’s not her robot-self anymore and I love that so much.

TALLEY: We’re all in agreement with that one!

THH: The classic SpongeBob humor and hijinks of the episodes continue to pop off in this special, what’s one of the jokes that got a laugh out of you?

FAGERBAKKE: I always thought about the joke with that dartfish about their food: “We’d like to share some with you!” Like you know, it’s whatever, but it’s out there!

SNYDER: I did laugh at that out loud when [Tom Wilson as Cecil Star] started singing: the way he gets into it, it was so ridiculous to see!

TALLEY: That was fun to watch him record that, I mean that was just fun to hear!

THH: Were there any other ideas that you guys wanted to try out and explore but didn’t get to in this special?

KENNY: Well, I’m sure with the writers, you know, they’re always throwing a whole bunch of stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. Generally, about the time it gets to us, I get a little bit ahead of everybody else cause of leading the voice direction. But even then, all that stuff has already been thrown at the wall and vetted and they’ve already had all their fights in the writer’s room. We just get the trickling down: you make a joke and they say that’s what we’re doing!

BROWN: Usually, when you start a sentence in this world and say “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”, they say, “Oh, we’re doing that now next episode!” And it’s usually like that with them.

THH: From your own perspective, how do you think this crossover special can honor both old-time fans as well as newer fans?

SUMMER: Because we’re acknowledging all those great, psychedelic shows from the past and modernizing them with these freaky characters from the present! I mean, that’s how I think it’s coming together.

BROWN: I think we’re just gonna bring it around town!

KENNY: Oh, we’re gonna bring it around town! Yeah, I think we’re gonna bring the mash-up of these three series in a way that’s pleasing to second-graders and AARP members alike! It’s gonna play to both those demographics, and everything in between, beautifully!


SpongeBob SquarePants Presents The Tidal Zone premieres on January 13 on Nickelodeon.

About Post Author

Christopher Gallardo

Hi, my name's Chris and I write things at The Hollywood Handle. I like to write and learn about the animation world, play video games, and yes, go outside. A big Marvel, DC, and Star Wars fan/comic reader (indie too!) and occasional cinephile. My Twitter handle is @Dimadude64 if you want to contact me!
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Christopher Gallardo

Christopher Gallardo

Hi, my name's Chris and I write things at The Hollywood Handle. I like to write and learn about the animation world, play video games, and yes, go outside. A big Marvel, DC, and Star Wars fan/comic reader (indie too!) and occasional cinephile. My Twitter handle is @Dimadude64 if you want to contact me!

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