He told Variety at the time that he intended to work on his show “for as long as I am able.”
“SpongeBob SquarePants” has aired on Nickelodeon since 1999.
The series, about a anthropomorphic sea sponge named SpongeBob and his various underwater-dwelling friends, airs in more than 200 countries and been translated into more 50 languages. It has earned numerous awards during its run, including four Emmy Awards.
Hillenburg earned a special Emmy Award earlier this year for his work in the animation field.