This was Television on May 1

1999: SpongeBob SquarePants debuts

One of the most popular programs in Nickelodeon’s history, the animated adventures of an oddly shaped, nattily attired sea sponge and his undersea friends began a run that’s included nine seasons and over 200 episodes. With more than 300 episodes and one 2004 feature film, SpongeBob Square Pants is Nick’s most prolific original cartoon and its longest-running current program. -A.D.

Today’s Birthdays: Julie Benz, vampire (41); John Diehl, cop (63); Art Fleming, game show host (d. 1995); Dann Florek, police captain (63); Joanna Lumley, fabulous (67); Stephen Macht, character actor (71); Darius McCrary, eldest son (37); Louis Nye, character actor (d. 2005); Jack Paar, late night emcee (d. 2004); Charlie Schlatter, voice actor (47).

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