SpongeBob SquarePants is the main character of the fictional Nickelodeon animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. He was designed by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg, and is voiced by Tom Kenny. Stephen Hillenburg intended to create a series about an over-optimistic sponge that annoys other characters. Hillenburg compared the concept to Laurel and Hardy and Pee-wee Herman. As he drew the character, he decided that a "squeaky-clean square" fit the concept. Originally he intended to name the character Sponge Boy. In an interview he said that he created the name as adding "Boy" to a name of an inanimate object "and it becomes alive." The first concept sketch portrayed him as wearing a red hat with a green base and a white business shirt with a tie. The name "SpongeBoy" did not make it into the show since the name was already officially trademarked by Bob Burden, creator of Flaming Carrot. When Hillenburg discovered an existing copyright on the name, he decided that his given name still had to contain "Sponge" so viewers would not mistake the character for a "Cheese Man." Hillenburg created "SpongeBob." He decided that "SquarePants" would fit as a family name as it referred to the character's square shape and his "funny name".