Saturday, February 27, 2021

Prankster Registers SpongeBob SquarePants to Run in 2024 U.S. Election

Following a slew of fake and satirical candidates running for President during the 2016 US election cycle, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulatory agency clamped down, removing unverified names from its listings and threatening legal action - and it looks like SpongeBob SquarePants, the titular character from Nickelodeon's beloved animated series of the same name, could be in trouble.

Filings with the US Federal Election Commission indicate that the would-be presidential candidate could soon face a lawsuit if their name is found to be fake.

FEC records indicate that on Sunday, February 21, someone under the name of Nickelodeon’s fictitious cartoon sponge filed paperwork to run for President of the United States on the Republican Party ticket.

Although it's not unusual for television and film stars to run for office, with action film star and champion bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger serving as the governor of California for eight years, and reality personality Donald Trump serving as president for one term, incidentally both also on the GOP ticket. However, it is probably a first for an animated character, especially since Bikini Bottom is not in the United States. Although Bikini Bottom is fictional, the town is set under Bikini Atoll, a real island that's part of the Marshall Islands.

However, everything about this story seems, well, fishy. For example, the person who submitted the paperwork for "SpongeBob Edward SquarePants" registered themselves as Perch Perkins, the famous field reporter for Bikini Bottom News in the TV show, and the address given is the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, California. Also, the principal campaign committee is listed as the Krusty Krab, the fictional restaurant where SpongeBob works as a fry cook on the show - however, rather than having a Bikini Bottom address, it uses the address of DirecTV’s corporate office in El Segundo.

On Thursday, February 25, the FEC decided to find out what exactly was going on with this bizarre filing by sending a litter to Nickelodeon Studios that carries a substantial warning about “knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a federal government agency,” and seeking clarification about “the true, correct, or complete candidate name and principal campaign committee name.”

The letter, of course, is entirely real, but the listed response date of April 1 - April Fools Day - only adds to the surreal nature of this story.

FEC press officer Judith Ingram told Sputnik that the agency began sending the letters out in 2017, and the recipient has 35 days to clarify the veracity of their filing. If they fail to do so, they could face charges that would result in a substantial fine and could land them in jail for up to five years - or even eight years, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism.

The rule was drafted after the 2016 elections in which more than 1,850 joke candidates appeared, some of whom garnered not-insignificant results in polls, such as Deez Nuts, who polled as high as 9% in some early presidential primaries, as well as candidates named Harambe, and Queen Elsa Ice.

Nickelodeon did not respond to inquiries by Sputnik.

Sputnik reached out to the email address listed on the FEC filing for the Krusty Krab, and this is the response they received:

“I'm Perch Perkins, the campaign manager for Mr. SquarePants. I wasn't aware about the name verification form, but I will let him know. The campaign will be announced within the next four weeks, with more details regarding his campaign via social media.”

On the extremely long shot that the jellyfishing, burger-flipping, gap-toothed sea sponge is, in fact, pursuing the nation’s highest office, NickALive! is ready to sit down for an interview at the earliest available time.

It’s too bad whoever’s behind this didn’t list SpongeBob’s best friend Patrick Star instead, since he actually ran for President in a special seven-episode Nickelodeon event in 2007, handily defeating his challenger, Larry the Lobster, in votes cast by fans.

More Nick: 'Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years' and 'The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run' to Debut on Paramount+ on Thursday, March 4!

Originally published: Saturday, February 27, 2021.

H/T: Sukabumi Update,; Additional source: SpongeBuddy Mania.

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