'SpongeBob Squarepants' celebrates 20th anniversary

SpongeBob SquarePants, Photo Date: Undated / Cropped Photo: Nickelodeon / Viacom / (MGN)
By  | 

(WIFR) -- Who lives under a pineapple under the sea and is turning 20?

The first SpongeBob Squarepants episode premiered 20 years ago today.

SpongeBob, along with his friends Patrick, Sandy, Squidward and Mr. Krabs, debuted on Nickelodeon on May 1, 1999.

The iconic show was created by former marine biology teacher Stephen Hillenburg. After a battle with ALS, Hillenburg died at the age of 57 last year.

SpongeBob Squarepants was an immediate hit and has nearly 250 episodes since its creation 20 years ago. The show has won four Emmys and 15 Kids Choice Awards, standing out as a pop culture phenomenon of the 2000's.