With the news that Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants, has died at the age of 57 of ALS, we are republishing the following interview on education in Bikini Bottom that SpongeBob’s writers agreed to give The Answer Sheet in 2011.
Here’s the interview. It’s still hilarious — and, really, who doesn’t need a laugh these days?
Q: SpongeBob, we know you have attended Mrs. Puff’s Boating School. Are there other schools in Bikini Bottom? If so, what are they, have you attended, and how did you do?
A: I did attend a three-day symposium on operating a milkshake dispenser. I did very well and received a class 3 operating permit, for chocolate and vanilla shakes, but didn’t pass the strawberry part of the exam, which turned out okay because Mr. Krabs sold his milkshake maker due to rising powdered milk costs.
Q: Why are you having so much trouble graduating from the boating school?
A: Mrs. Puff holds me to a slightly higher standard than most of her students, and I will honor her by taking the test as many times as she deems necessary.
Q: If you were a teacher, what subject would you want to teach? Why?
A: I would love to teach bubble blowing if the local community college ever decides to add it to the curriculum. It’s a great artistic outlet and a perfect way to blow off the stresses that the work-a-day world throws at you.
Q: What do you think makes a good teacher?
A: Someone who knows more about the subject than the students.
Q: Was it hard learning the Krabby Patty formula? Could you teach it to us?
A: Naw it was easy, you just start with 2 cups of … HEY, WAIT A SECOND!!!! YOU’RE TRYING TO TRICK ME!!!! THE KRABBY PATTY FORMULA IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF THE KRUSTY KRAB. UNAUTHORIZED USE IS PUNISHABLE TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW! Plus Mr. Krabs would be super mad at me.
Q: Is Sandy as smart as she seems?
A: How many squirrels do you know that built rocket ships and flew them to the moon, built whirlybirds that run on coconut milk, or have a secret army of robots in their tool sheds? Most squirrels don’t even have enough nuts in storage to get them through the winter.
Q: Do you think Patrick is teachable?
A: There are people in this world who transcend “learning.” Patrick is one of them. He is a force of nature and blessed with knowledge the way some people are blessed with a full head of hair. It just sprouts up from their head like a kelp field waving majestically in the wind, constantly in need of a trim.
Q: If you could go back to any school, which school would it be and what would you want to study?
A: Still looking to pass that elusive strawberry shake exam, or maybe another language, like Salmonese.
Q: What subject do you think everybody in Bikini Bottom should take?
A: I think the rec center is offering a class in table manners.