Tom Kenny, who voices the sponge who lives in a pineapple, has just started watching the adventures of Walter White & Co.

By Maggie Parker
February 01, 2015 07:45 AM
Monica Schipper/FilmMagic

Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants, is all about cartoons all the time – almost.

“Cartoons are almost 100 percent of my TV viewing,” Kenny told PEOPLE at The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water premiere in New York City on Saturday. While that doesn’t surprise us, this did: “My 17-year-old and I just started watching Breaking Bad, but we’re like five years behind everyone else.”

Well, Spongebob and Walter White do have some similarities – they both have huge fan bases.

SpongeBob’s following is a bit younger though, as proven by the hundreds of kids who crowded the N.Y.C. theater for the film’s Saturday morning premiere.

Kenny, 52, had no idea that SpongeBob would be such a hit when he signed onto the project. “When we made the first seven-minute short, which was in 1997, all I knew was that I liked it a lot and that I thought it was funny and people I showed it to on a VHS cassette thought it was funny,” he said. “Some people, including my dad, were like, ‘This is gonna be a hit,’ and I was like, ‘Eh, who knows?’ ”

Now, 18 years later, some of SpongeBob’s first fans are all grown up. “We have some adult fans now too who grew up with the show, and some of them have kids of their own,” he said with a smile. “So I hear a lot of things like, ‘You were the soundtrack of my childhood,’ ‘You’re the voice I hear in my head,’ ‘My childhood with my parents was really good and you’re a part of it,’ ‘My childhood was horrible and you were what I escaped into,” Kenny says. “You realize that cartoons and comedy are really healing forces in the world.”

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