Tuesday, January 04, 2022

ViacomCBS Consumer Products Appoints TLG As Local Licensing Agent in Indonesia

ViacomCBS Consumer Products Appoints TLG As Local Licensing Agent in Indonesia

JAKARTA/SINGAPORE, December 22, 2021 – ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) has announced that it has appointed PT. Total Lisensi Global (“TLG”), a brand management and licensing agency, as its strategic partner for the Indonesia market for a period of three years. The partnership, which came into force on January 1, 2022, sees the TLG team in Jakarta, led by industry veteran Mochtar Sarman, take charge of all existing VCP businesses for various properties from ViacomCBS’s kids entertainment brand Nickelodeon, global youth media brand MTV, and entertainment destination Paramount Network.

Drawing from ViacomCBS’ wide portfolio that caters to all audiences and demographics, properties and franchises available for licensing under this appointment include pop culture icons SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; fan-favorite Avatar: The Last Airbender; pre-school hits PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Dora the Explorer; and comedy sensation Emily in Paris, among others.

Masakazu Soeda, Vice President (VP), ViacomCBS Consumer Products, Japan, South East Asia (SEA), India said, “We recognize the immense potential that Indonesia holds for the consumer products business. With the strong appeal of our properties and the TLG team’s deep market expertise, we believe that we will be able to better address local trends and needs, and take advantage of the many opportunities available to deepen the viewing experience and fuel fandom through our products.”

Mochtar Sarman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TLG, added, “The TLG team is excited to leverage our combined decades of experience to supercharge the delivery of exciting new products and experiences for fans in Indonesia. We look forward to working closely with ViacomCBS and local partners.”

About ViacomCBS Consumer Products
ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) oversees all licensing and merchandising for ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC), a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, VCP’s portfolio includes a diverse slate of brands and content from BET, CBS (including CBS Television Studios and CBS Television Distribution), Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and Showtime. With properties spanning animation, live-action, preschool, youth and adult, VCP is committed to creating the highest quality product for some of the world’s most beloved, iconic franchises. Additionally, VCP oversees the online direct-to-consumer business for CBS and Showtime programming merchandise, as well as standalone branded ecommerce websites for Star Trek, SpongeBob, South Park, and MTV.

About TLG
The Licensing Guy (TLG) is the brand name of PT Total Lisensi Global, a brand management and licensing agency that focuses on developing Intellectual Property businesses, especially licensed characters and lifestyle brands. Founded by partners who have been practitioners in the licensing and retail industry for decades in Indonesia, including leading efforts for Disney Consumer Product and Hasbro Consumer Products in Indonesia, the TLG team has proven success in managing the licensing of various product categories and integrated marketing campaigns for multi-national companies, national retailers and high-profile promotional partners. These include creating and developing a myriad of promotion programs and ground activation activities with convenience stores, direct-to-retail, lifestyle fashion events, seasonal thematic mall events, outdoor events, trade shows and exhibitions, among others.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

'NFL Slimetime' Host Nate Burleson Talks About His Seattle Upbringing, Transition to CBS Mornings Host and Hosting a Show on Nickelodeon

CBS Sports’ analyst and former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson recently sat down with KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott for the debut episode of Scott's new podcast, Leaving a Legacy!

Nate Burleson. (Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images)

“We are living testaments that you can rewrite the narrative, not just your career, but your life,” Burleson said, thinking about how much he’s done in the past decade. “There are so many people who are stuck in a position and they’re like, ‘Is this it? Is this all I’m going to be? Is this who I’m going to be identified as the rest of my life?’ You don’t have to. At the drop of a dime, you can decide.”

Burleson tells stories of interviewing Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, and meeting Al Pacino as examples of a few moments that rocked him a bit. Not to mention his ACL injury, surgery, and a tough realization during his rehab.

Learn how thinking about other passions during his NFL career led him back to the arts, his love for animation, and eventually a show with Nickelodeon. He says it’s time to tap back into the things you left on the shelf during childhood.

“If you love culinary arts, dive into that. If you love music, dive into that. If you love art, dive into that. If you love playing an instrument, dive into that. If you want to get into politics — look at Donté Stallworth, … his story is one of success and praise, a dark moment where he had an incident, and then he bounced back and is one of the most intelligent individuals, especially in the political spectrum, that I know.”

Hit the play button below to watch the interview!:

Fans can catch Nate Burleson co-host NFL Slimetime every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon, and every Thursday on Paramount+. Burleson will also be co-hosting NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon 2022, CBS Sports and Nickelodeon's special slime-filled presentation of the National Football League’s Super Wild Card Weekend game on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. (ET) on Nick!

Nate Burleson’s Fantasy Futility Alive and Well on Nickelodeon

For NFL Slimetime Cohosts Burleson and Young Dylan, fantasy has been messy, to say the least.

Nate Burleson enjoyed an impressive NFL career. In 11 years with the Vikings, Seahawks and Lions, he caught 457 passes for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns. Since then, he’s had a meteoric rise in the TV business, currently busy as a co-anchor for both CBS Mornings and CBS’s The NFL Today. One thing Burleson hasn’t been able to conquer, however: fantasy football.

“I’ve never won a fantasy championship,” said the 40-year-old Burleson, who’s been playing since he got into the NFL in 2003. “Which sucks because I’ve never won a Super Bowl, either. Never won a bowl game. Didn’t win a championship in high school. I’m starting to feel like I’m cursed when it comes to titles and championships.”

During his playing days, Burleson had to wrestle with the question of whether or not to draft himself in fantasy.

“I was told to never draft yourself,” he said. “But then there’s other guys that are in the firm belief that if you draft yourself, you’ll play better. I just didn’t want that type of stress on my squad.”

The problem is, Burleson’s wife was a big fantasy player as well—and she would draft her husband.

“I tried to advise the wife that it’s not good for the marriage,” he said. “If I come home with just a 50-yard output game, it would be very awkward at the dinner table. There were a couple of moments like that.”

Marital strains aside, Burleson’s current fantasy futility is on full display for the world to see. As if his two CBS gigs weren’t enough, Burleson is also the cohost, along with 11-year-old rapper/actor Young Dylan of Nickelodeon’s NFL Slimetime, a kidified NFL show that airs Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. ET. Burleson and Young Dylan face off against celebrity guests in a Fantasy Showdown each week.

Team Slimetime’s record: 3-10.

“It’s definitely been a struggle,” said Burleson. “We’re riding on the struggle bus. We pick some good players. Week in and week out, we have an opportunity to win. But credit the celebrities, they pick well.”

Burleson and Young Dylan have lost to the likes of John Cena and Drew Barrymore, among others. And Nickelodeon’s youth demographic isn’t the only group taking notice. Burleson does a weekly guest spot on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, and they’ve made sure to include a few digs.

“They always give me a hard time,” Burleson said. “They’re like, ‘Nate, what is going on? How are you losing to Chloe Grace Moretz or Kelly Rowland?’”

Burleson doesn’t like losing, but he said Young Dylan takes it harder. “I laugh every time because he gets like, ‘Nooo! Again?!’ He’s an actor and a good one at that. But a couple of times, I looked at him, and I saw a teardrop, so that looks like Denzel in Glory. That came from a real place. Dylan doesn’t like losing at all.”

From Weeks 4-13, Team Slimetime lost nine out of 10 matchups. With each loss, Burleson and Young Dylan would try to change their luck by adding to the presentation of picking their team – and there’s usually slime involved.

“So there is this thought that the messier we get, the higher our chances are to win,” Burleson said. “It’s twofold… I like slime. I’m a Nickelodeon kid—grew up watching every show they ever had. But at the same time, by the end of the season, we’re gonna be jumping into a pool full of slime. But if that’s what it takes to win, I’m down for it.”

Sure enough, Team Slimetime broke a six-game losing streak and defeated country singer Tate McRae this week. Now, Burleson is ready to make a Joe Namath-like prediction.

“We’re gonna run the table,” he said. “This is where we step up. We have to end the season on a high note. It will be messier, and our teams will be better. We can’t have Young Dylan crying every episode because we’re losing.”


Originally published: January 04, 2022.

Original source: MyNorthwest.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and NFL Slimetime News and Highlights!

Pull & Bear Launches The Smurfs Clothing Collection

Pull & Bear Launches The Smurfs Clothing Collection
The Smurfs clothing collection is now available worldwide from Pull&Bear’s online store.

The new CGI The Smurfs series was released on Nickelodeon on 10 September and will soon be launched on more channels.

DeAPlaneta Entertainment is the licensing agent for IMPS -The Smurfs in Spain, Portugal, and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Young fashion chain belonging to the Inditex group, Pull&Bear, has signed a Direct-to-Retail agreement with DeAPlaneta Entertainment for the global launch of The Smurfs collection, featuring the iconic little blue characters loved by several generations

This men´s collection includes colourful T-shirts, sweatshirts, bomber jackets and jeans along with shorts, shirts, and caps. And it is now available from their online store worldwide. DeAPlaneta Entertainment coordinates the brand’s licensing program in Spain, Portugal, and Central and Eastern Europe.

The historic brand is based on the characters and universe created by Belgian cartoonist Peyo in 1958. It’s now more alive than ever thanks to its latest releases, including CGI animated and live action films, and the new CGI TV series for 5–12 -year-olds, which launched on Nickelodeon on 10 September and has already screened on TF1 in France. This new series combines comedy, adventure and action and will soon screen on national TV stations including RAI YOYO in Italy, KIKA in Germany, and Milkshake! on Channel 5 in the UK.

The Smurfs are about to launch a new line of toys with master toy license holder:  Jazwares, in addition to new videogames, fashion collections, health and beauty lines, audiobooks and other entertainment products and experiences.

About The Smurfs, the new TV series (52×11’ / 3D CGI)
The Smurfs are adorable blue creatures with unique personalities and great values. They solve everyday problems with wisdom and teamwork. Their values of tolerance, friendship, fun and respect for nature are completely in line with current lifestyles. The characters also starred in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals UN campaign in defence of these values.

The Smurfs is a Peyo Productions and Dupuis Audiovisuel production, in co-production with KiKA, VRT and RTBF, with the participation of TF1, and with the participation of Wallimage (La Wallonie), Screen Flanders, BNPPFFF and with the support of the Belgian Government Tax Shelter and the participation of the CNC.

About Peyo & IMPS (International Merchandising Promotions & Services)
IMPS is the official licensors of the little blue-skinned characters ‘The Smurfs.’ Over the years, IMPS has worked in close collaboration with its agents worldwide to develop successful licensed merchandising, retail and co-branded promotions, publishing activities, broadcasting deals, theme parks, live shows and family entertainment centers that have secured the everlasting success of the Smurfs.  IMPS is run by Véronique Culliford, the daughter of Pierre Culliford, the creator of the Smurfs, who is better known under his pseudonym Peyo.

Find more info on:  https://www.smurfbusiness.com/

About DeAPlaneta Entertainment
DeAPlaneta Entertainment is a leading global company. It is part of the Planeta Group and De Agostini. It provides all audiences with an extensive selection of quality entertainment that combines creativity with innovation.

For over 20 years, DeAPlaneta Entertainment has acquired, produced and distributed unforgettable content and experiences. It works on everything from films, fictional series, animation and licensed products to live shows, video game competitions and, more recently, NFT development and a metaverse presence.

It has achieved numerous global successes along the way. Highlights include releasing popular titles: The Physician, Saw and Oscar-winners: The King’s Speech and The Pianist in Spanish cinemas, and creating series of the calibre of: Ana Tramel. The Game. DeAPlaneta Entertainment also manages and produces recognised children’s and family brands including: Miraculous Ladybug, Milo, Gormiti, Heidi and Maya the Bee. It develops powerful stories and content that goes beyond screens, for a universal audience. The company continues to expand and explore new areas of the interactive arena, and has organised high-profile events such as the eCopa RFEF, and the national FIFA 21 benchmark tournament, with the support of the Royal Spanish Football Federation.

Pull&Bear was launched in 1991, with a clear international mission to dress young people who are committed to their environment and avoid stereotypes, live in community and enjoy each other’s company. For them, Pull&Bear brings together the latest international trends, combines them with streetstyle and fashion club influences, and reinterprets them as easy-to-wear, comfortable clothes that follow sustainability best practices.

Pull&Bear evolves with its customers and is always attentive to new technologies, social movements and latest artistic or musical trends. The company has a network of nearly 900 stores and sells online to most markets around the world via www.pullandbear.com.


Mission Log: Prodigy Supplemental 02 - Dan and Kevin Hageman | Roddenberry Entertainment

Mission Log: Prodigy Supplemental 02 - Dan and Kevin Hageman | Roddenberry Entertainment

Mission Log interview with Star Trek: Prodigy series creators and producers Dan and Kevin Hageman.

Watch Supplemental 01, featuring an interview with Prodigy composer Nami Melumad here!: http://www.nickalive.net/2021/12/mission-log-star-trek-prodigy.html

Stream Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and Star Trek: Prodigy News and Highlights!

Melissa Joan Hart to Launch New Pop-Culture Podcast 'What Women Binge'

Melissa Joan Hart to Launch New Pop-Culture Podcast

Melissa Joan Hart and co-host Amanda Lee will discuss “What Women Binge” in new podcast premiering January 5th.

What Women Binge with Melissa Joan Hart

NASHVILLE, TN, USA, December 9, 2021 -- Actor and filmmaker Melissa Joan Hart (Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, The Casagrandes) has announced the upcoming launch of the new pop-culture podcast, What Women Binge. Episode One will be available January 5th on all major platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart and YouTube.

What Women Binge with Melissa Joan Hart is a female-centric review show where Hart, her friend and co-host Amanda Lee, and their special guests get to chat about any and all subjects they find #bingeworthy.

Featuring casual conversations with well-known celebrities, talking about whatever they’re in to, from guilty pleasures to pet peeves. What Women Binge will cover books, charities, workouts, podcasts, food, apps, movies, television shows and more.

In the podcast's premiere episode, Hart and Lee will discuss the very first episode of Hart’s iconic ’90’s Nickelodeon series, Clarissa Explains It All.

"We’re gonna talk about everything that people are obsessed with,” says Hart. "Guilty pleasures, everything from books, podcasts, TV shows, movies, everything. We’ll have so many guests. We can’t wait for you guys to be there!"

For more information, visit WhatWomenBinge.com. Subscribe today.

What Women Binge is produced in partnership with Podcast Heat.

"Congratulations Clarissa" - What Women Binge Coming Jan 5! | Melissa Joan Hart

On the very first episode of What Women Binge we will discuss the first episode of Clarissa Explains It All! 

Subscribe to our podcast here on YouTube and at the links below: 

What Women Binge with Melissa Joan Hart is a female-centric review show where Melissa, her friend and co-host Amanda Lee, and their special guests get to chat about any and all subjects they find #bingeworthy. Featuring casual conversations with well-known celebrities, talking about whatever they’re in to, from guilty pleasures to pet peeves. What Women Binge will cover books, charities, workouts, podcasts, food, apps, movies, television shows and more.


Candice King: Watching Vampire Diaries with Her Kids is Awkward - What Women Binge

The first guest on What Women Binge is our good friend Candice King ( Vampire Diaries ) !

You can subscribe today on all your favorite podcast platforms.

Our full episode with Candice will be released on Jan 12.

"Clarissa's Room" What Women Binge Coming JAN 5

On the very first episode of What Women Binge we will discuss the first episode of Clarissa Explains It All! In this clip Amanda and Melissa discuss the unique style of Clarissa's room and how it influenced reality. 

Clarissa Explains It All, Sabrina The Teenage Witch and The Casagrandes are available to stream on Paramount+. Try it FREE today at ParamountPlus.com!

Originally published: December 10, 2021.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Classic Nickelodeon and NickRewind News and Highlights!

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for January 4, 2022 | Nickelodeon

Classic Rugrats Comic Strip for January 4, 2022 | Nickelodeon

Stream the classic and the all new CG-animated Rugrats series on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

Rugrats, provided to Creators Syndicate by Nickelodeon, based off the popular animated television series has been created for children and family's to laugh and enjoy together.

Follow these comics and their take on real episodes of the show and their own spin on hilarious adventures.

Read more Rugrats comic strips!: https://www.creators.com/features/rugrats

More Nick: Paramount Plus Renews the All-New 'Rugrats' for Season 2!

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Classic Nickelodeon, NickRewind and Rugrats News and Highlights!

CBS Sports and Nickelodeon Unveil Team for Slime-Filled Super Wild Card Weekend Telecast of 'NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon', Airing Jan. 16, 2022


CBS Sports’ Nate Burleson and Noah Eagle and Nick Star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green Return to Call Game, with Nick Star Young Dylan as Sideline Reporter

Share it: @NFL @Nickelodeon @CBSSports

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Dec. 16, 2021—CBS Sports and Nickelodeon unveiled today the announce team for the special slime-filled presentation of the National Football League’s Super Wild Card Weekend game on Sunday, Jan. 16, at 4:30 p.m. (ET). Following the success of last season’s Sports Emmy Award-winning production, the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon returns with CBS Sports’ analyst and former NFL star Nate Burleson, play-by-play announcer Noah Eagle and Nick star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green (That Girl Lay Lay, All That) reprising their roles in the booth, while Nick star Young Dylan (Dylan Gilmer, Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan) makes his sideline reporting debut.

The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon will showcase one-of-a-kind kid-focused content and Nick-themed elements throughout, including a special halftime presentation, guest reporters, original on-field graphics, virtual filters, and more for kids and families.

“The collaboration between the NFL, Nickelodeon, and CBS Sports for our first NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon was terrific and exceeded all expectations,” said CBS Sports’ Shawn Robbins, who will serve as Coordinating Producer of the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon. “We look forward to another exciting, slime-filled, Nick-ified presentation and the return of our talented team in the booth. Last season, Noah, Nate and Gabrielle connected so well with viewers with their chemistry, enthusiasm and knowledge, and we know our NFL Slimetime co-host Young Dylan will be an excellent addition as sideline reporter, completing this fun-filled crew.”

The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon will be streamed via the NFL app on mobile for free.

The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon will air alongside CBS Sports’ coverage of the game, which will be available on The CBS Television Network. CBS Sports’ telecast will also be streamed across digital devices via Paramount+, the CBS Sports app, NFL digital properties, and on mobile on the participating teams’ mobile properties and Yahoo Sports.

Last season’s NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon (Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021)–the first-ever NFL telecast produced for kids and families–was Nick’s most-watched program among total viewers in nearly four years and the number-one cable telecast of the week with Kids 2-11 and Kids 6-11. Airing alongside CBS Sports’ broadcast on The CBS Television Network, the program generated more than two billion social media impressions and Nickelodeon was the number-one trending topic in the U.S. on Twitter during that afternoon. The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon was the recipient of two Sports Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Playoff Coverage and Outstanding Live Graphic Design.

NFL Slimetime is a fun-filled weekly NFL series for kids and families, hosted by Burleson and Young Dylan. The show features Nick-ified highlights and game footage; youth football spotlights; special celebrity guest appearances; interviews with NFL players; the weekly awarding of the Nickelodeon Valuable Player (NVP) trophy; and entertaining segments highlighting players and teams on and off the field. NFL Slimetime airs weekly Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon, with episodes available to stream on Paramount+ the following day, through Feb. 16, the week of Super Bowl LVI. Content can also be found on NFL and Nickelodeon social channels featuring Nick-ified highlights, NVP moments and more.

NFLNickPlay.com serves as the official online destination for NFL Slimetime and the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon, helping to educate kids on football basics and entertain them with a variety of NFL-themed content leading up to and during the Wild Card game. Kids can engage with quizzes, polls, fun facts, info galleries, football-themed short-form videos, weekly printables and more. Fans can also enter a sweepstakes for the chance to win fun prizes including a trip to the Wild Card game along with a game day experience!

The NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon is produced by CBS Sports in association with Nickelodeon Productions. Sean McManus and Harold Bryant serve as Executive Producers of THE NFL ON CBS. CBS Sports’ Shawn Robbins is Coordinating Producer of the game along with Producer, Ken Mack and Director, Suzanne Smith. Production for Nickelodeon is overseen by Ashley Kaplan, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon & Awesomeness Unscripted & Digital Franchise Studio, ViacomCBS; Paul J Medford, Vice President, Unscripted Current Series; Luke Wahl, Vice President, Unscripted Creative; and Jennifer Bryson, Vice President, Production, Tentpoles, Events & Music & Specials.

Nate Burleson

Gabrielle Nevaeh Green

Noah Eagle

Young Dylan

Nickelodeon, now in its 42nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The brand includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, digital, location based experiences, publishing and feature films. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA, VIAC).

# # #

NFL Wild Card Game Promo - January 16, 2022 (Nickelodeon U.S.)

What do the players do? - NFL Wild Card Game Spot 1 (Nickelodeon U.S.)

What do the players do? - NFL Wild Card Game Spot 2 (Nickelodeon U.S.)

Originally published: December 16, 2021 at 19:02 GMT.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

Kendall Schmidt Discusses Big Time Rush Reunion, Upcoming Performances and New Music

After an almost eight-year hiatus, Big Time Rush is back. Band member Kendall Schmidt said he is excited to be performing and recording new music with his bandmates again.

“That’s the goal of the [reunion],” Schmidt told The Columbia Chronicle. “I want to be on stage with the guys again. It’s been long enough.”

The boy band, best known for its hit Nickelodeon sitcom of the same name, is reuniting for two performances — in Chicago on Dec. 15 at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., and in New York City on Dec. 18 at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

Schmidt said he started talks of a reunion with bandmates Logan Henderson, James Maslow and Carlos PenaVega at the end of 2019, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had to change their plans. Instead of performing, the band members posted several videos to their social media pages filmed remotely in the second half of 2020 to reach out to fans: “A Message from Big Time Rush,” an acoustic cover of their song “Worldwide” and a Christmas video that featured one of their holiday singles, “Beautiful Christmas.”

“We knew how dark of a time it was for people in general,” Schmidt said. “We figured if it could bring anybody joy, it would be nice to do those video[s].”

On July 19, the band was finally able to announce their reunion through an Instagram video, which poked fun at the band members with lighthearted references to the Nickelodeon TV show.

At one point, Maslow is referred to as “Bandana Man,” his character’s superhero alter ego who makes recurring appearances on the show. His response: “What did you call me?”

Schmidt said the bandmates wrote the script for the comeback video together with the intention of making a distinction between the band’s music and the television show.

“We weren’t really talking about doing a [TV] show again. We were talking about doing music. We wanted to make it clear that the band aspect of Big Time Rush was coming back,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t want anyone to get confused about that, so it seemed like a funny way to do it.”

Tickets for both dates went on sale on July 21. Both performances sold out within minutes of release on Ticketmaster. The current resale ticket prices for the Chicago date range anywhere from $350 to more than $2,300 for pit seats.

In the time since the announcement, Big Time Rush has been working on new music. On Sept. 22, the band shared a 28-second snippet of a new song on their social media platforms.

According to Schmidt, this time around, they have “100% creative control” of their sound — even if they are still trying to figure out what that means in 2021.

“Now, we have to make all the decisions. ‘Does this song encompass what the new Big Time Rush sounds like?’” Schmidt said. “’What does that sound like?’ ‘What does that sound like in 2021, compared to what did that sound like in 2010?’”

With the performances less than six weeks away, Schmidt is gearing up for a hectic month.

“There’s a lot of busy days coming up. It’s been very relaxed so far, besides working very hard on the music,” Schmidt said. “I’m curious to see what the next month is going to be like. It’s going to be very interesting.”

Schmidt could not reveal much about what rehearsals for the month leading up to the concert will look like. However, the band plans to expand beyond the choreography, costumes and set design from their previous tours to create a new look and feel for Big Time Rush.

“We need to advance. We have to advance,” Schmidt said. “We want to be more exciting than just, ‘It’s good to see Big Time Rush again.'”

The members of the band have discussed possible setlist ideas for the performances, but Schmidt said there may be room for some improvisation, as well.

“It would be fun to have a few audible songs. If it’s like, ‘Hey, let’s play this [song,]’ let’s switch it up. Let’s decide to do something different,” Schmidt said.

While much may change for Big Time Rush in the next few months, one thing has always remained consistent in their 12 years together: their love and appreciation for their fans.

“I can only speak for myself, but I know this about the guys: Everybody in the band is so grateful for the response, grateful for all of the stories that people have told us and grateful for the fact that people even still care,” Schmidt said.

To stay up to date with all things Big Time Rush, follow them on Instagram and Twitter and visit their website.

From E! News:

Inside Big Time Rush's Reunion 8 Years in the Making: "It's Our Time to Run the Show"

Carlos PenaVega, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Kendall Schmidt are back together with new music and special concerts for loyal fans.

Congratulations! You just scored a backstage pass to the hottest tickets in town.


Big Time Rush reuniting is nothing short of a big deal. 

Back in 2009, Carlos PenaVega, James Maslow, Logan Henderson and Kendall Schmidt became household names when they appeared on Nickelodeon's television series Big Time Rush.

The show resulted in the group launching sold-out tours, successful albums and plenty of No. 1 hits like "Boyfriend" and "Worldwide." While the group decided to go their separate ways in 2013, each member has remained close. And nearly eight years later, the boys are back and ready to rock on their own terms.

"Big Time Rush was a big time whirlwind adventure for us back in the day," Kendall exclusively shared with E! News. "We were young guys. We all became fast friends. We are best friends and I just think now it was sort of like, you know what, I think we know what we're doing."

Carlos added, "For me, the icing on the cake is that now it's our time to run the show. Nickelodeon and Sony did a great job and we're so thankful for their support. This time, we get to do it as the four of us. We get to make all those decisions. We get to decide exactly what songs are going to go out. Exactly what color the lights are going to be on the tour. The creative process this time around is just so much more fulfilling because this is our baby."

In just the past week, Big Time Rush has released a new song titled "Call It Like I See It." They took the stage at iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball in Philadelphia and the Chicago Theater in Illinois. The group will end the week with a sold-out concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom on Dec. 18. 

"People are going to be really happy," Carlos teased to E! News about their upcoming music. "I don't know how else to explain it. I was a huge fan of what we did back in the day. It had such a fun energy that I know we all didn't want to lose. And I think our new stuff definitely has that energy, but it's a lot more current…Music has evolved and I think that we did a great job still keeping the Big Time Rush DNA but making it a lot more current."

While the reunion may have sneaked up on some music fans, the group said it was a frequent conversation over the years. Ultimately, the coronavirus pandemic proved to have an influence on their decision to come together and make even more memories as a group. 

"We've all had multiple conversations with each other over the years and a big part of the reason we hadn't got together before, is just scheduling," James shared. "Everybody's got their own projects: film, TV, music." 

Kendall added, "I think we all knew at some point we'd get back together. It was just a matter of timing…The pandemic hit, which affected everybody and so we were like, 'Well, let's take the time to really figure it out.'"

Lucky for fans, the fun may just be beginning. Keep scrolling to get exclusive details on the group's big reunion.

The Boys Are Back
In December 2021, Big Time Rush reunited for three special concerts and the release of a new song called "Call It Like I See It." 

Bros Forever
Before returning to the stage at iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball, Big Time Rush attended rehearsals where they felt like no time had passed. "We've been friends for so long," Logan Henderson told E! News. "So that was also something where it's like you see each other again and you pick up where you left off, which has been really a blessing for all of us. We've been through a lot of stuff together." 

Lookin' Fresh
"Just for the fans, everybody's still as handsome if not more handsome than before," James Maslow joked when teasing the band's upcoming shows. "We're still Looking very dapper."

Dudes Just Wanna Have Fun
"We're trying to have some fun again, and I think it shows up in the music we are making now and the music we've made in the past," Logan said. "There's a lot of new music, coming so I think it's gonna be great to have everyone together." 

Bringing the Love
What makes Big Time Rush different from other boy bands? Kendall Schmidt has a theory. "The four of us are from very different backgrounds, very different lives, very different interests and passions and all that kind of stuff," he explained. "In a time in the world where it seems like things have been kind of rough, we really want to bring people together and show them four distinct individuals can come together and spread the love." 

Kid Approved
Carlos PenaVega is proud to say his kids with wife Alexa PenaVega totally approve of dad's new gig. "We had my kids at rehearsal and for me, just having them there, I thought, ‘This is going to be insane,'" he shared. "We're doing it again and I think we keep having that moment with each other during rehearsal. We're just turning our heads saying, ‘It's happening again?!'"  


Big Time Rush is available to stream on Paramount+ and Netflix.

Originally published: November 06, 2021.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and Big Time Rush News and Highlights!

ViacomCBS Taps Jennifer Pang to Lead Consumer Products in Greater China

ViacomCBS Consumer Products (VCP) appointed Jennifer Pang to Vice President (VP) and head of licensing, Greater China.

In her new role, Pang will be based in Hong Kong and will lead VCP’s overall licensing business in all markets across Greater China for all ViacomCBS franchises, including properties from Nickelodeon, Nick. Jr., MTV, Paramount Network, and Comedy Central. She joins the company from Hasbro Consumer Products where she served as head of category licensing for North Asia managing licensing programs for eOne and Hasbro brands.

Pang will report to VCP’s Senior Vice President, International Licensing, Mark Kingston.

“Asia is an important area of focus for us as we continue to engage with our audiences and extend our most loved IPs and brands beyond linear,” Kingston says. “With Jennifer’s insight and familiarity of the region as well as her expertise, we are looking forward to aggressively pursuing new partnerships and capitalizing on opportunities in this key market.”

The scope of Pang’s new responsibilities includes managing the VCP team in the region in addition to overseeing the company’s master licensing agent and global partnership activity locally, while sourcing and executing local licensing and promotional deals. She also oversees retail sales and marketing for the region.

How to Stream All Things 'PAW Patrol' for FREE on Paramount Plus

Paramount+ Has US Rights to One of Netflix's Biggest Shows Worldwide

Shows for children are among the most popular programs for streaming platforms, a fact made clear by PAW Patrol's spot on Netflix's Global Top 10 shows. However, parents in the U.S. might be confused by this, since PAW Patrol is not on Netflix. In the U.S., all PAW Patrol programming can be found only on Paramount+, the streaming service from ViacomCBS and the home of most Nickelodeon content on streaming platforms.

PAW Patrol is produced by Canadian studios Guru Studio and Spin Master Entertainment, and distribution there is handled by Elevation Pictures. In the U.S., PAW Patrol airs on Nickelodeon and ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks handles distribution. ViacomCBS also owns Paramount+, making it the logical home for PAW Patrol in the U.S.

Paramount+ subscribers can find the first six seasons of the original PAW Patrol series, as well as the special PAW Patrol Live! At Home event. Paramount Pictures also released PAW Patrol: The Movie in theaters and on Paramount+ on Aug. 20. Despite being available to stream, the movie grossed $130 million worldwide. A sequel, PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie, has already been scheduled for Oct. 13, 2023. A spin-off series starring one of the PAW Patrol pups is also in the works.

PAW Patrol Season 6 landed the eighth spot on Netflix's Global Top 10 TV shows chart for Dec. 20 to 26. Netflix subscribers have watched over 9.36 million hours of PAW Patrol outside the U.S. The U.S. Top 10 TV shows chart for the same week includes three different seasons of CoComelon to represent children's TV shows. Other shows in the U.S. chart include The WitcherLost In Space, and Emily in Paris.

In the U.S., PAW Patrol has been a big help for Paramount+. In November, ViacomCBS President-CEO Bob Bakish credited family shows with helping drive Paramount+ subscriber growth reports Variety. Over half of Paramount+ subscribers have watched at least some Nickelodeon content during the third fiscal quarter of the year.

Paramount+ also launched "live" channels that stream playlists of content for 24 hours. One of the channels is devoted just to PAW Patrol. The linear TV-style channel model is similar to one employed by Pluto TV, which happens to be owned by ViacomCBS. There are other family-oriented channels, including Kids & Family Fun, Preschool Corner, and SpongeBob Universe.

Parents and guardians can stream all things PAW Patrol and much, much more on Paramount+ for FREE by signing up for a free trial on ParamountPlus.com!

PAW Patrol: The Movie featured an all-star voice cast, including Young Sheldon star Iain Armitage. He voiced the lead character, Chase. According to his contract, Armitage earned at least $100,000 for his voice acting work, according to the minor's contract filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by TMZ. The deal guaranteed him at least ten sessions, which would mean a $100,000 paycheck. However, the contract included a $175,000 bonus if the movie made at least $150 million at the U.S. and Canada box office, a mark it unfortunately fell short of, most likely due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. If the movie made even more than that, he could have earned up to $1.675 million from the movie. Considering Young Sheldon will be on the air until at least 2024, Armitage might not be too worried.

Originally published: December 31, 2021.

Original source: PopCulture.com (II).

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon Preschool, Nick Jr. and PAW Patrol News and Highlights!

Give the Gift of Paramount Plus This Holiday Season!

Give the gift of Paramount+ this holiday season!

Movies, live sports and lots of kids stuff. That's the gift of Paramount+. And for a limited time, enjoy 30 free days of Peak Holiday Streaming! Gather the family to watch shows and movies like A Loud House Christmas, Star Trek: Prodigy, Rugrats, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Henry Danger, Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, PAW Patrol, Blue's Clues, The Fairly OddParents, Rumble, Daddy's Home 2 and so much more.

Update - Today (1/3) is the LAST chance to take up the offer!

What are you waiting for? Get in the spirit and try 1 month FREE! Visit ParamountPlus.com for more information!

Originally published: December 16, 2021.

Additional source: The Streamable.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon News and Highlights!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase one or more items and/or subscriptions using the links above, NickALive! will earn a commission, which will go back into the running of this blog.

Kate Mulgrew Talks About Whether 'Star Trek: Prodigy' Will Avoid All Nostalgia

In the 1990s, Star Trek was running full steam ahead before ending its television time in 2005 with the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise. Kate Mulgrew’s return to the role she made famous on Star Trek: Voyager has a lot of those fans feeling nostalgic. Back as Captain Janeway on Star Trek: Prodigy, she is in holographic form only, but her CG-animated appearance has fans flocking back to the screens. But is nostalgia the only reason why fans are tuning in and what does Mulgrew think of it?

In an interview with Space.com, Mulgrew was asked if she agreed on whether there was a trap of relying too much on nostalgia. She made it clear that she wasn’t sure nostalgia is altogether a negative. She went on to say that it had a purpose in Trek and that was “to stir up our deepest emotions.”  And that is certainly what Prodigy has planned even if it that does mean eventually relying some on the past and what Mulgrew calls “the wonderful undertones of nostalgia.” After all, Commander Chakotay is expected to return in future episodes of the series, once again uniting two of Voyager’s fan favorites.

Kate Mulgrew wants Star Trek: Prodigy to tackle the Prime Directive in upcoming episodes
But there’s so much more to Prodigy than what you’d ever find on another Star Trek series. These adolescents who’ve absconded with a derelict ship - the USS Protostar - know nothing about the Federation or Starfleet, and that’s where hologram Janeway comes in to help. Along with that help, Mulgrew is hoping the series will cover the serious topics, the ones that challenge us to learn more about ourselves and others.

She’d like to tackle all of the Prime Directive in upcoming episodes, but especially collaboration with one another. With all of the characters being a different species and coming from different backgrounds, there is a lot of dissension at present. Watching them grow and evolve and develop friendships will be teaching moments for the fans tuning in.

Prodigy allows new fans to start from the very beginning, to learn all things about Trek, while also giving longtime fans the opportunity to evolve as human beings and to learn to accept the differences in others. These six characters couldn’t be more different, but then again, so are we all.

From Space.com:

Kate Mulgrew spills the beans on 'Star Trek: Prodigy' and bringing Captain Janeway back to TV

Action and adventure await an assorted mix of alien adolescents.

With  latest entry into the Star Trek universe — "Star Trek:  Prodigy" — warping into the unknown on Paramount Plus, Space.com got the chance to talk to one of its stars: none other than Kate Mulgrew, best known for playing Capt. Kathryn Janeway in "Star Trek: Voyager." 

The new show from streaming service Paramount Plus and Nickelodeon will follow five kids who are incarcerated on an obscure planet in an uncharted part of the galaxy. They escape from their imprisonment and race across the planet to find a defunct starship buried in the sand of the planet's surface. They enter the ship, but are unable to make it work. With prison guards hot on their heels, they suddenly stumble upon an Emergency Training Hologram in the form of Capt. Janeway.

The seemingly derelict starship is the NX 76884 USS Protostar. Since it carries the NX registration, perhaps this was an experimental ship or prototype of some kind. Here's how to watch Star Trek: Prodigy online and if you're looking for more Trek, check out our Star Trek streaming guide.

A protostar is a very young star that is still gathering mass from its parent molecular cloud and they have been mentioned in "Star Trek" before. The Enterprise NX-01 surveyed a protostar just before the incident at the Vulcan monastery at P'Jem in the "Enterprise" episode "The Andorian Incident" (S01, E07) and the Argolis Cluster was a protostar cluster mentioned in the "Deep Space Nine" episode "Behind the Lines" (S06, E04).

Interestingly, we learn in the "Voyager" episode "The Omega Directive" (S04, E21) that in theory, a type-6 protostar could be used to generate a wormhole… So we asked Kate Mulgrew about this. You can watch the full interview [HERE].

"Do you enjoy being nerdy questions about Voyager?" I asked.

"Nerdy questions..?" Mulgrew replied with a quizzical tone in her voice.

"Do you mind if I ask you a nerdy question about Voyager..?!" I continued.

"I wondered if that was coming and I'm not surprised! Go for it!" Mulgrew said with a laugh. 

"We learn in the 'Voyager' episode 'The Omega Directive' (S04, E21) that theoretically, a type-6 protostar could be used to generate a wormhole… So is this an indication of what's to come, is this an experimental vessel designed to somehow travel to the Delta Quadrant in superfast time by way of a wormhole?" I asked, almost out of breath. 

"Not only nerdy, but beautifully and wonderfully nerdy!" Mulkgrew said, smiling. "But unanswerable, due to spoilers. You're going to have to wait and watch."

Along with Kate Mulgew, "Star Trek: Progidy" features an all-star cast, including Jason Alexander (Doctor Noum), Ella Purnell (Gwyn), Jimmi Simpson (Drednok), Jason Mantzoukas (Jankom Pog), Jameela Jamil (Ensign Asencia), John Noble (Diviner), Daveed Diggs (Commander Tysess), Dee Bradley Baker (Murf), Brett Gray (Dal), Angus Imrie (Zero), Rylee Alazraqui (Rok-Tahk) and Robert Beltran as Capt. Chakotay.

"Star Trek: Prodigy" is airing now on Paramount Plus in the U.S. and has already been renewed for a second season. You can also stream it on Paramount Plus in international territories including Latin America, the Nordics and Australia. The first two seasons of "Star Trek: Lower Decks" are also available to on Paramount Plus along with four seasons of "Star Trek: Discovery" which just returned to TV this month.


Stream Star Trek: Prodigy on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com!

Originally published: December 03, 2021.

Original source: Red Shirts Always Die.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and Star Trek: Prodigy News and Highlights!

Walt Dohrn Looks Back on Iconic 'SpongeBob' Episode 'Squirrel Jokes' In Wake of Chappelle Controversy

The Rediscovered Prescience of SpongeBob’s ‘Squirrel Jokes’

Trying to reflect on the year in comedy at the end of 2021 is like trying to look through a rearview mirror that’s got bird poop on it: There are trees and trucks and billboards laid out behind you, but it’s all kind of obscured by the bird poop.

The bird excrement is Dave Chappelle’s The Closer. Released in October as the last special of Chappelle’s multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix, much of the special consists of the stand-up defending transphobic jokes from his past specials, railing against "cancel culture", comparing trans women presenting themselves in a gender-affirming way to blackface, siding with TERFs, misgendering a trans acquaintance who died by suicide, and then using his friendship with her as a scapegoat for why he’s allowed to make these jokes.

It was upsetting to members of the trans community, the comedy community, and any erstwhile fans of Chappelle who have had to put up with years of this from him.

Things escalated when Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos released a series of statements in defense of the special. He argued that the purpose of comedy was to “push boundaries” and wrote that Netflix has “a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” (Sarandos later walked back his comments and admitted that he “screwed up.”) It’s a condescendingly dumb argument, particularly to anyone who’s ever seen a map of the United States where the “gay and trans panic” defense is still admissible in court

… or anyone who’s ever seen the season-two SpongeBob SquarePants episode “Squirrel Jokes.” The episode, which first aired in September 2001, shows SpongeBob winning over an audience at an open mic night by making “squirrel jokes” at the expense of his good squirrel friend, Sandy Cheeks. As he makes jokes about how squirrels are stupid and look strange, SpongeBob whips the crowd into a frenzy. Sandy is hurt and asks him to stop, but SpongeBob says that he knows she’s smart, and he’s only joking, and she shouldn’t take it so seriously, and she should be a supportive friend. But Sandy is a minority as the only squirrel in Bikini Bottom, and people begin to treat her differently in public, talking down to her like she’s stupid and not letting their children near her in the store. She ends up teaching SpongeBob the error of his ways via some trademark slapstick, and everything’s neatly wrapped up by the end of the 11-minute episode.

Two days after the release of The Closer, queer Black comedian Kid Fury tweeted, “Remember when Spongebob got into standup and kept telling the same lame ass squirrel jokes because that’s all his audience thought they wanted to hear … even though he knew it was harmful to the squirrel just minding her own damn business? Good episode.” The tweet was shared thousands of times, with more people sharing the sentiment that even kids can understand the message and sharing clips of the episode. It was apt for the Closer controversy, but it also illustrated how we’ve been having these conversations about punching down, albeit in different ways, for decades now.

“Squirrel Jokes” was written by Walt Dohrn, Paul Tibbitt, and Merriwether Williams. SpongeBob was only the second show Dohrn had worked on after graduating from CalArts, but during his time there he co-wrote classic episodes like “Frankendoodle” (2002), “Procrastination” (2001), and “Imitation Krabs” (2000). From there, he had a hand in basically every element of 2000s childhood: the Shrek films (in addition to working in the story department on the sequels, he voiced Rumpelstiltskin in the fourth film), Madagascar, and Dexter’s Laboratory. More recently, he directed the Trolls movies. Vulture spoke with Dohrn about comedy, cartoons, and what SpongeBob knew in 2001 that people like Chappelle and Sarandos still don’t get 20 years later.

What was the inspiration behind writing this episode?
I’m trying to remember. This was 21 years ago! I went back and watched the episode a couple of days ago to remind myself, and it did come back to me, as far as some of our discussions. Process-wise, SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg and creative director and writer on all episodes Derek Drymon were a big part of writing and putting the episode together. So as far as the inspiration, it was kind of built-in by the time I got there; there was a list of things they wanted to make the show about.

This was my first TV gig, and as comedy writers, there was this complete commitment to jokes. It was boot camp for me. We would work all night long, like, What’s the funniest drawing? What’s the funniest idea? We were absorbed in the idea of comedy, and the conversation came to be about this desire to get the laugh. And we started talking about that — about how you could be so desperate in the moment that you’ll say or do anything to get the laugh. So I think that was really the core of the episode — the idea that you reach for this low-hanging fruit to get the laugh, especially if you’re bombing. Then we talked about the personal consequences of that and how in this desperation to get the laugh you could end up really hurting people.

It’s interesting that you were having those conversations on a show that isn’t necessarily associated, in my mind, with mean humor. What was it exactly that you were noticing in the writers’ room — or in media you were consuming at the time — that led to this angle of the dangers of finding the laugh at any expense?

I’m trying to get this right because it was so long ago, but a lot of it had to do with the nature of pitching the show as part of our job. It made me endlessly nervous because I was a very shy person, and I was learning how this is part of the process. Not only do you write the episode and draw it, but you have to put all your drawings on the wall. Paul and I would do this together because we were a team on all of our episodes. You’d have to stand up in front of the entire crew and perform the episode. And if you’re bombing, you may, in the room, go for the low-hanging fruit and do some humor that wasn’t part of the episode just to get the laugh. That was part of the conversation — this desperation to have the laugh at all costs.

But that scenario could have played out anywhere in a SpongeBob episode, like at the beach or work or whatever. Instead, you made the Krusty Krab an after-hours comedy club, and you made SpongeBob a stand-up, and you’re skewering a specific type of insult comedy. The jokes are specifically coded as being about a minority group.

I hadn’t thought about that episode since we made it. When you contacted me and I went back to watch it, I was shocked and surprised myself because obviously now we have this conversation all the time on the shows and movies I work on. But 21 years ago, it just wasn’t as common to have this conversation. We would try to tackle big themes and disguise them in kids’ entertainment or family entertainment, but it was surprising that it was a thin analogy to bigotry. Some of that comes from me, Paul, Steve Hillenburg, and Derek growing up watching An Evening at the Improv in the ’80s. It was so ubiquitous, that kind of stand-up — definitely the whole cliché of the person standing in front of the brick wall. It was the collective experience of growing up with that.

Did you know the episode had gone viral in relationship to the Chappelle controversy? 

I didn’t until your contact. I was excited to see that it had that kind of relevance. It had been so long since I returned to those episodes. I’m just so heads-down, working in animation. I was excited that it was part of the conversation. Then when I watched the episode, I was like, Oh! I wasn’t surprised, but some of the conversation has changed since then. Because in the episode, he kind of ends with — it’s a nice sentiment — we can all laugh at ourselves. We definitely believed then and believe now that comedy should tackle more difficult parts of the human experience. That’s what comedy served then; that’s what it serves now. But I think the conversation is But at all costs, it shouldn’t be at someone else’s expense.

I liked the episode’s ending, but if I were to do it today, I think there would be a little bit more clarity about the responsibility we have to not perpetuate any kind of hurtful stereotype. Even if we’re saying, “We should be able to laugh at ourselves,” I just think the idea of laughing at someone else’s expense, we don’t need to do that. There’s plenty of material, plenty of odd and surreal and absolutely absurd things to talk about in comedy, whether it is a family show or anything else. We’re just very conscious now of who or what the jokes are directed at.

I’m glad you brought up that ending. It’s funny how people were holding clips of this episode up as an example of “Even a children’s show got the right idea 20 years ago,” but then you watch the full episode, and it ends on this very 2000s, South Park–era resolution of SpongeBob becoming an “equal opportunity offender.” It’s really indicative of the time.

Yeah, and it makes sense. Even not that long ago, we would have this sense as comedy-animation people of like, You know what? Nothing is off-limits. That’s what comedy is about. Equal opportunity. Everything is funny. And it’s just not the case. We’ve seen too many examples over the years of the kind of harm that can do, even to the point that self-deprecating humor feels kind of wrong now as well. Say you’re talking about yourself, and someone identifies with those things you’re making fun of in yourself? Then that’s hurtful to them.

What you’re saying is SpongeBob hadn’t seen Nanette at the time. Hannah Gadsby wasn’t around to teach him that.


You mentioned SpongeBob was your first TV writing job. What was your relationship to comedy at the time? Was anyone who co-wrote this episode involved in stand-up? I know Tom Kenny comes from the comedy world.

There was one story artist-writer. He’s the guy who does the voice of Plankton, Mr. Lawrence. I have this vague memory that he was involved in the stand-up scene. And definitely Tom Kenny. But I think — it’s almost a cliché — we all had this painful past. That’s where the comedy chops get developed, as a survival mechanism. It’s how me and most people that I would come in contact with in animation — these shy, introverted people — found an outlet. In comedy. We have to see the absurdity in the nightmare of growing up to make it through that stuff.

Do you remember a time where you pushed right up against the line, or crossed it, working on SpongeBob?

I think the line would be more on the surreal humor. The weirder it got, the stranger our drawings got. It felt psychedelic, drug-infused. At the time, we talked about how not only was it for kids and families but also for sleep-deprived college students. Anything that was so weird that it might turn off the core audience, there would be concern from the network or the studio. That would be the edge that we pushed: bizarre drawing, anything that felt like there was some odd innuendo.

How do you feel about the generation that grew up with things you worked on like SpongeBob, Shrek, and Dexter’s Lab becoming comedians and animators in their own right? 

I’m so honored to have been a part of all these things that are so ubiquitous and make people feel good. That old adage that laughter is the best medicine is absolutely true. I was doing some presentation or something, and I looked into the science of what happens to your brain when you laugh, and comedy can really impact your physiology and improve your health. There’s a stigma attached to doing children’s entertainment, and maybe that’s more of a chip on my shoulder, but I just never looked at it like that. I made sure that it wasn’t too offensive, and that it was clear, but I never approached the humor any different way, whether it was for young people or families or sleep-deprived college students.

Do you have a favorite joke or visual gag from SpongeBob or from anything else that you worked on?

One thing that I have enjoyed doing and that I’ve been able to exercise is the performer part of myself, which is something I didn’t know I had until I was forced to do it on SpongeBob, and I would have to perform all the voices. Writing and directing is a hard thing to quantify for a lot of people, but I’ve been able to perform the characters. I was the antagonist of the fourth Shrek movie, which was very exciting and fun to do. Mike Mitchell and I made the first Trolls movie together, and I got to play this character called the Cloud Guy. That’s something I really like being able to do. Outside of pitching sequences on shows, that’s very close to stand-up comedy. Standing in front of a microphone and performing and improvising lines is the thing I’m definitely the most proud of.

You voicing Rumpelstiltskin in the fourth Shrek was a huge deal because by then there was this trend of only A-list celebs voicing these major animated studio movies in lieu of actual voice or character actors.

It was a real win at the time because we do all the voices before the celebrity marquee actors come in. It’s like workshopping a play. So people started getting it in their heads because I was doing that one role. So when I was awarded the role, regardless that I had no marquee value at all, there was this joke: “Myers! Murphy! Diaz! … Dohrn?” It felt like a win for the team, like the entire crew was that character.

Anyway, sorry for all these gotcha questions about an 11-minute episode of SpongeBob from 20 years ago.

I hope it was helpful! I think you opened up a little window into my brain. I’m going to go back and watch some of these episodes and kind of enjoy the people who enjoy them.

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants and The Patrick Star Show on Nickelodeon and 200 episodes of SpongeBobThe SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The RunKamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years and The SpongeBob Musical on Paramount+! Try it FREE at ParamountPlus.com.

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at https://www.youtube.com/SpongeBobOfficial!

Shop SpongeBob!: https://www.spongebobshop.com - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

H/T: ASF /@SweetShop209.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon and SpongeBob SquarePants Universe News and Highlights!