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Thread: What if Stephen Hillenberg was the new showrunner?



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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    What if Stephen Hillenberg was the new showrunner?

    For those who do not know, Stephen Hillenberg is the genius behind the animated cartoon Spongebob Squarepants. He had worked previously on Rocko's Modern Life and had created some animation shorts prior to starting Spongebob, but after Season 3 of the show, he was largely pulled out of the physical creation of the show and young i.e bad writers were hired in his place.

    Spongebob, while appearing to be aimed at children, has a very broad audience. Pretty much anyone can watch it, and the humour is consistently witty, surreal and zany, much like The Simpsons: this is why I bring the subject up.

    While the chances of this happening are one in a million, what would you think if Stephen Hillenberg took over from Al Jean as showrunner for the series? Do you think he is not suitable for the job based on his past experience in animation, or perhaps you might think he is a David Mirkin-like character, very unique and inventive among his colleagues?

    Discuss.


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    Interesting... While his humor is widespread and he has done some good jokes; I fear that his experience in the realm of slapstick comedy (much of it may not be slapstick but it is presented in a slapstick way.) won't translate well to "The Simpsons". Unless he somehow manages to learn how to write stories and plots and comedy based on the characters (which in my opinion, makes up a portion of the humor on The Simpsons aside from the satire, parodies and off-beat jokes.), he'll be only slightly better then Al Jean. Proving more entertaining comedy while providing almost nothing in terms of character development. I could be wrong though but from what I've seen and the lack of history (although he did write a few for Liquid Television, much of his work has been for Rocko's Modern Life and the aforementioned SpongeBob SquarePants.), I fear he may not be a perfect fit.

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    Here's a more realistic option: Matt Selman. He has wrote Natural Born Kissers, Trilogy of Error, Behind the Laughter, The Haw-Hawed Couple and more recently The Food Wife as well as being the one behind the idea of The Book Job episode. He's not perfect but he'd be miles better at the job of solo showrunner than Al Jean.

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleedin' Gums Murphy View Post
    Here's a more realistic option: Matt Selman. He has wrote Natural Born Kissers, Trilogy of Error, Behind the Laughter, The Haw-Hawed Couple and more recently The Food Wife as well as being the one behind the idea of The Book Job episode. He's not perfect but he'd be miles better at the job of solo showrunner than Al Jean.
    We're talking more about Stephen Hillenberg here, but I see what you mean.
    However, I could never allow a showrunner with such stinkers under his belt as Bart Gets a Z. He's already the executive producer anyway, and probably earns a similar salary (maybe even more - he does actively write episodes!), so I don't think he'd be too bothered about being showrunner, but you can never rule it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardaviewer View Post
    We're talking more about Stephen Hillenberg here, but I see what you mean.
    However, I could never allow a showrunner with such stinkers under his belt as Bart Gets a Z. He's already the executive producer anyway, and probably earns a similar salary (maybe even more - he does actively write episodes!), so I don't think he'd be too bothered about being showrunner, but you can never rule it out.
    I'm talking about an alternative here, if people want to talk about Hillenberg then they will. I didn't say Selman was perfect and obviously he's been involved in some awful episodes but he'd be far better than Jean, which I assume you'd agree with, and you're expecting too much when the horse - the show itself - has already been well and truly beat.

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleedin' Gums Murphy View Post
    I'm talking about an alternative here, if people want to talk about Hillenberg then they will. I didn't say Selman was perfect and obviously he's been involved in some awful episodes but he'd be far better than Jean, which I assume you'd agree with, and you're expecting too much when the horse - the show itself - has already been well and truly beat.
    I'd also mention that it's more theoretically whether Hillenberg would be any good, that's why I say 1 in a million chance.
    I need to be more specific sometimes...
    But I would very much like a fresh change from the tyranny of Jean.

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    DICK MOVE! Comicshow MolemanBob's Avatar
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    I love SpongeBob (And still do) and while it's a great show, I'm not sure how his work would suit the format of an older audience (But then again, anyone's better than Jean...)

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    He's still a grown man. It's not like he can't cater to an adult audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardaviewer View Post
    He's still a grown man. It's not like he can't cater to an adult audience.
    Al Jean is a grown man tho!

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleedin' Gums Murphy View Post
    Al Jean is a grown man tho!
    But he's 13 Simpsonian years old
    He's a creaky old hag, despite being 51.
    OH MY GOD
    AL JEAN'S BIRTHDAY WAS YESTERDAY!!!!

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    DICK MOVE! Comicshow MolemanBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guardaviewer View Post
    He's still a grown man. It's not like he can't cater to an adult audience.
    We're not saying he isn't, we're just saying that he's used to working on kids shows (With some adult humor yes, but still kids shows) so you could assume he'd make the show better but you can also assume that someone who can drive a car can also man a submarine with no experience...

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    oh ok

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    Just pity laugh Swoony's Avatar
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    I like old Spongebob, but the newer stuff is pretty weird and retarded...Dunno if i'd want him working on the Simpsons since it'd be quite a gamble.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Essomms View Post
    I like old Spongebob, but the newer stuff is pretty weird and retarded...Dunno if i'd want him working on the Simpsons since it'd be quite a gamble.
    He left the show after the movie meaning he had nothing to do with the show during the 'weird and retarded' days...

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    Just pity laugh Swoony's Avatar
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    I was not aware. I just thought it jumped the shark like most shows tend to do after a few years of being on the air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Essomms View Post
    I was not aware. I just thought it jumped the shark like most shows tend to do after a few years of being on the air.
    SpongeBob would have been still going strong if Hillenberg had never left. But, like the Simpsons, a show runner was replaced (In this case, left) and now, well y'know...

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    What if Stephen Hillenberg was the new showrunner?
    We'd be hearing a lot of ukulele music in the background, that's for sure...
    My Simpsons Season Rankings:
    6 > 7 > 3 > 5 > 8 > 4 > 2 > 1 > 9 > 15 > 13 > 14 > 10 > 16 > 12 > 11 > 22 > 21 > 17 > 25 > 24 > 18 > 26 > 20 > 19 > 23

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    Administrator Sam's Avatar
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    Spongebob was the best animated children's show at its time. Fuckin' hilarious stuff. Still got the first three boxed sets.

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    But what amazing stuff has he done since Spongebob??

    And although I've never watched that show, I'd actually be happier for a new showrunner to be someone who's actually written for the Simpsons in the past or writes for the show now. Otherwise they're going in blind with a sledgehammer.
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    Uhh, the Mighty B--nothing.

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    on the basis that Hillenberg is funny and therefore we might get better than the Jean average of one good joke per episode i'm all for this
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  23. #22
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    I know this is "theoretical" but signing up to be the middle manager of this rotting corpse of show after having created The Most Successful Cartoon Ever would be such an insane demotion

    Quote Originally Posted by Guardaviewer View Post
    For those who do not know, Stephen Hillenberg is the genius behind the animated cartoon Spongebob Squarepants. He had worked previously on Rocko's Modern Life and had created some animation shorts prior to starting Spongebob, but after Season 3 of the show, he was largely pulled out of the physical creation of the show and young i.e bad writers were hired in his place.
    where are you getting this "he was pulled out" notion from? he left voluntarily. do people just assume nickelodeon mistreats all their creators because john k and jhonen v had bad experiences?

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    De Pomp Le Moose Boris Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Homer View Post
    I know this is "theoretical" but signing up to be the middle manager of this rotting corpse of show after having created The Most Successful Cartoon Ever would be such an insane demotion


    where are you getting this "he was pulled out" notion from? he left voluntarily. do people just assume nickelodeon mistreats all their creators because john k and jhonen v had bad experiences?
    It's just a small factual error, jeez.

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    Just pity laugh Swoony's Avatar
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    I don't think this thread is meant to be taken super seriously. Just a simple hypothetical.

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    I guess this is supposed to be hypothetical type question.But all I know about Stephen Hillenberg,from reading various cartoon/animation blogs is that Nickelodeon gave him a huge payout and he's been travelling around the world ever since, he doesnt ever have to work again.I don't think he would spend his time cooped up in a studio in LA with the losers who write the show currently,even in some alternate reality fantasy.

    John K on his blog makes out like he is poor and struggling,but he got a big payout from Nickelodeon too. It wasnt as big as Spongebob, I dont know how much it was but I found legal records online somewhere that John K sued Nickelodoen for $100 million dollars,which was settled out of court.
    Last edited by Matlock; 01-12-2012 at 07:14 AM.

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    on a trip to squaresville Prune Tracy's Avatar
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    Maybe Homer will finally get his wish of moving under the sea.

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    I'm not your friend-o Cartoonnetwork's Avatar
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    I actually think the creators of Phineas and Ferb would be a better choice for a show like The Simpsons, since that's actually a more dialogue-driven show. Spongebob has some sitcom humor, but for the most part is about the surreal jokes and the funny animation and drawings. Maybe Stephen Hillenburg (that's his real name, I looked it on wikipedia) would make a good job in a Halloween episode.

    But I was actually thinking about The Simpsons and Futurama when I watched Phineas and Ferb episodes like Nerds Of a Feather -which could have been adapted to the Simpsons kids- or Quantum Bugaloo-which could have worked for Futurama.
    Last edited by Cartoonnetwork; 01-12-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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  29. #28
    pineapple shoes Dark Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cartoonnetwork View Post
    I actually think the creators of Phineas and Ferb would be a better choice for a show like The Simpsons, since that's actually a more dialogue-driven show.
    neat fun fact: they used to be simpsons animators

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    I thought they were Spongebob and Family Guy animators.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Handsome B. Wonderful View Post
    I thought they were Spongebob and Family Guy animators.
    That too.



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