Terry Morrow: Voice behind 'SpongeBob' grows up on 'Brickleberry'

Tom Kenny is a man of a thousand voices.

Best known as SpongeBob SquarePants, Kenny's tone has been spread all over television — from the narrator of "The Powerpuff Girls" to "Rocko's Modern Life" and, now, "Brickleberry" (10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Comedy Central), perhaps the most adult cartoon he's done.

"'Brickleberry' is definitely for an older audience for me," he says. "You can see what kinds of audiences I reach — my preschool (cartoon shows), my Adult Swim shows are for older (viewers) than that, and then there's 'Brickleberry.'"

As ranger Woody, Kenny plays a buffoon who oversees the shenanigans of men, women and beasts at a national park. "Brickleberry" isn't exactly Yogi Bear: The plots are usually highly sexual and juvenile, befitting the traditional college-age crowd drawn to the series each week.

Comedian Daniel Tosh ("Tosh.0") is one of the producers and plays tiny bear Malloy, who is Woody's biggest foil.

Married with two children, Kenny has been the voice of dozens of characters in more than 200 productions. Presently, he's involved in six different shows, including "Green Lantern," "The Annoying Orange Show" and "Adventure Time," all for Cartoon Network, "Ultimate Spider-Man" (in which he plays Doctor Octopus, "SpongeBob" and an upcoming preschool series for Disney.

"Being a voice actor is this weird thing. It's like being half a celebrity and half not," he says.

"I auditioned for this show, and people are surprised I have to audition considering all the work I have done.

"But I do audition, just like any other actor. You're neither fish nor fowl when you are a voice actor."

He takes pride in the fact he's enough of a celebrity to have his death reported on Twitter recently.

"I guess it take a certain level (of celebrity) to have that happen," he deadpans.

A native of East Syracuse, N.Y., Kenny loved reading comics and drawing when he was a child. He was a comedian early in his career and made the rounds on late-night cable shows. Along the way Kenny was cast doing voices on cartoon projects.

From there, the work on the animated side of his resume increased as his stand-up work dwindled.

Kenny has been starring in "SpongeBob" since 1999.

And thinking of Kenny as Spongebob isn't such a stretch.

Calling late for his interview, the mild-mannered Kenny apologizes over and over. When he's reminded he's SpongeBob so repeated apologizes are needed, he replies, "SpongeBob can get away with whatever he wants to.

"Me? I have to tow the line."

Other highlights for the week of Nov. 4-10. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:


"Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden" (8 p.m. National Geographic Channel). Anson Mount ("Hell On Wheels") and Freddie Rodriguez star in this dramatization of the plot that ended Bin Laden's life.

"Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade" (8 p.m. Hallmark Channel). Two former arch enemies (Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo) watch each other's backs as they contribute to Chicago's lavish holiday parade during this family friendly movie.

"Left To Die" (9 p.m. Lifetime). A mother of two goes to Europe and ends up in jail for drugs in this movie based on a true story. Barbara Hershey stars.

"The Next Iron Chef: Redemption" (9 p.m. Food Network). "Iron Chef" favorites return for another shot at glory — and winning, of course.


"Witness" (9 p.m. HBO). The dangerous work of war photographers is profiled in four-part documentary. Part one, titled "Juarez," takes us to a Mexican area, which has the highest murder rate of any country in the western hemisphere.

"Dangerous Grounds" (10 p.m. Travel Channel). An adventurous coffee drinker goes around the world looking for rare beans to go in his perfect brew.

"Castle" (10 p.m. ABC). Castle and Beckett investigate a murder at a sci-fi convention. Actors from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," "Alphas," True Blood" and "Eureka" co-star. Jonathan Frakes directs.TUESDAY

"Election coverage" (8 p.m. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, PBS). The networks examine election returns for the U.S. presidential race.


"Arrow" (8 p.m. CW). Arrow (Stephen Amell) remembers the assassin Deathstroke from his time stuck on the island.

"Top Chef: Seattle" (10 p.m. Bravo). Twenty-one contestants compete for the culinary crown this season.


"The Wedding Band" (10 p.m. TBS). A band playing at weddings is the center of this new sitcom with Brian Austin Green.

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