SpongeBob SquarePants, often simply referred to as just SpongeBob, is an animated television series created by marine biologist/animator Stephen Hillenburg. The series premiered right after the Kids' Choice Awards on May 1, 1999. It officially began airing on July 17th of the same year with the second episode "Bubblestand/Ripped Pants". The main character is an accident-prone sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants, his dumb starfish pal Patrick Star, the stingy octopus Squidward Tentacles, the cheapskate crab Mr. Krabs, his fashion-obsessed daughter Pearl and the overly hyper squirrel Sandy Cheeks, who wears an astronaut suit all the time and is characterized as a south westerner. Most episodes take place in the town of Bikini Bottom or the surrounding lagoon floor, islets, deep, or at their own houses.