After Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants, graduated high school he worked as a fry cook during summers at a restaurant in Islesford, Maine known as Islesford Dock Restaurant. The restaurant would later be the inspiration for the Krusty Krab in the show.

Cartoonist whose summers in Maine inspired ‘SpongeBob’ dies at 57

Stephen Hillenburg, the animator whose childhood summers on a Maine island later inspired him to create “SpongeBob Squarepants,” died Monday in California at the age of 57, according to Nickelodeon, the network that runs the show.

The cause of death was ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, according to media reports. Hillenburg revealed his ALS diagnosis in March 2017.

Raised in California, Hillenburg spent summers earlier in his life on Islesford, an island off of Mount Desert Island that is accessible only by boat.

Hillenburg credited his time on the island — the approximate population of which varies from 100 to 400, depending on the time of year — with helping to inspire the idea… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

7 thoughts on “After Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob Squarepants, graduated high school he worked as a fry cook during summers at a restaurant in Islesford, Maine known as Islesford Dock Restaurant. The restaurant would later be the inspiration for the Krusty Krab in the show.”

  1. Horatio_Carbonara

    This title is inaccurate. What the article says is:

    > “later became the inspiration for the job held by [SpongeBob], who is the fry cook at the ‘Krusty Krab’ fast food restaurant [in the series].”

    The inspiration for the Krusty Krab is a burger joint in Arcata, CA (the town of his Alma mater Humboldt State) called Stars Hamburgers. Take a peek at the photos. And I believe the inspo for the Chum Bucket is a coffee joint just south in Eureka called Gold Rush Coffee.

  2. Darth_Boognish

    Little bit of trivia: Ween’s album “The Mollusk” inspired the creation of Spongebob. Also when he passed, Ween did an encore dedicated to Stephen playing Ocean man and Loop de Loop.

    Dean Ween: I got a call a long time ago from a marine biologist that said he wanted to start a cartoon inspired by Ween’s album The Mollusk. His name was Steve Hillenburg and his idea was to create a Bugs Bunny type cartoon on the bottom of the ocean floor. Ween had been on tour for a long year and we ended up recording and writing the song in one night at Greg Frey‘s studio. It was to teach kids how too tie their shoes and we wrote it really fast and mailed it back on X-mas eve and for once they said “don’t change anything about its, it’s perfect.” It remains one of our proudest legacies and we went on to do a lot of work together with SpongeBob, and the show went on to be the best cartoon of 2 generations. So this is for you Steve. The show wasn’t even on the air at the time mind you. 

  3. oberon139

    There is a restaurant in Humboldt county where he went to university that is said to be the inspiration as well.

  4. Whig_Party

    the krusty krab pizza, is the pizza, for you and me

  5. OttoVonCranky

    Sad that he died of ALS.

  6. Glinth

    “Is this the Isleford Dock Restaurant?”

    “No, this is Steve!”

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