Get a Glimpse of the New Live-Action/Animation Hybrid SpongeBob Special

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Get a Glimpse of the New Live-Action/Animation Hybrid <i>SpongeBob</i> Special

That’s right, baby—Nickelodeon is celebrating the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants with a new live-action/animated special set to premiere on July 12, also releasing first-look photos from the extravaganza.

Titled SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout, the special will combine live-action elements with animation. The show’s core voice cast is set to play human versions of their animated characters, with Tom Kenny returning as SpongeBob, Bill Fagerbakke as Patrick Star and Clancy Brown as Mr. Krabs, among others.

And yes—David Hasselhoff will be returning as himself.

The airing of the special will mark the beginning of Nickelodeon’s yearlong celebration of SpongeBob’s 20th anniversary, an ambitious effort titled “Best Year Ever” that will lead up to the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies newest theatrical release, The SpongeBob Movie: It’s a Wonderful Sponge, set to release in summer 2020.

Other planned releases for the celebration include the launch of a mobile game, new programming, a product line of figures showcasing SpongeBob’s “iconic meme moments” (of which there are many), collaborations with lifestyle brand Cynthia Rowley, pop-up SpongeBob experiences across the U.S., and more, per a Nickelodeon press release.

SpongeBob launched in 1999 and has generated an exhaustive cross-platform universe of consumer products (uh, yeah—the franchise has earned $13 billion in lifetime retail sales), theatrical releases, pop-culture catchphrases and memes, and a Tony award-winning Broadway musical.

Before you turn off your TV and log out of Twitter tonight, just remember—every four seconds, someone in the world is talking about SpongeBob on social media.

Catch SpongeBob’s Big Birthday Blowout on July 12 at 7 p.m. on Nickelodeon and check out the first-look photos from the special below.