(CBS Local)– Actor Roger Bumpass has gone on an epic journey the last 20 years as the voice of Squidward Tentacles in SpongeBob SquarePants. The 69-year-old has done over 240 episodes of the Nickelodeon series and can be heard playing SpongeBob’s frenemy in a new movie called “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run” and a new series called “Kamp Koral,” which goes back in time to life for a 10-year-old SpongeBob at summer camp. Fans can check out this content exclusively on ViacomCBS’ new streaming service Paramount+.
CBS Local caught up with Bumpass and discussed the new movie and series, what it is like to play Squidward and how adults end up embracing their inner-Squidward as life becomes real.
“I’ve been doing acting for nearly 50 years now and I’ve been very blessed to be a part of a lot of different things,” said Bumpass, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “This is the highest profile and highest legacy type of project I’ve ever been a part of. I’m exceedingly grateful that you can just be a part of something that is iconic in American culture.”
Bumpass says it was incredibly easy to find Squidward’s voice. As soon as he saw a picture of the cartoon character, he knew the voice would be extremely nasally and knew he could pull off the sarcasm of the lines written for him.
“When the first shows were produced, Squidward was kind of monotone,” said Bumpass. “It was just that one note and then they started expanding what he was called upon to do. I began to spread wings and really develop the character into something that is far more than one note. The characters after 21 years are far more fleshed out and far more nuanced. That’s the standard evolution for a long-running show.”
The actor loved doing “Kamp Koral” to provide more of a backstory to SpongeBob, Patrick Star and Squidward. He likes that fans will learn more about Squidward’s journey and why he is the way that he is.
“You find out how Squidward got to be so depressed, frustrated and underappreciated,” said Bumpass. “They all start fairly child-like and naïve and enthusiastic. Then in Squidward’s case, he gets knocked down sequentially until he develops into that sourpuss that we know so well. Fans always each of us that we are their favorite character. There is an evolution that I see quite often. When kids watch the show, they identify with SpongeBob. He is innocent and the fun-loving character. Then as the viewer gets to be an adult and sees what it’s like to get that job and have those bills, they become Squidward. I’ve heard that countless times. Then when you get older, you become SpongeBob again.”
Stream “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run” and “Kamp Koral” on Paramount+ and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.