Beyoncé. Prince. Rihanna. Madonna. These world-famous, single-named superstars have all performed at the Super Bowl, and this year they’re joined by another generation-defining artist: SpongeBob.
This year’s Super Bowl telecast opened with SpongeBob SquarePants, joined by his Bikini Bottom pals Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs and more, recreating their performance of “Sweet Victory” from an old episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon.
CBS is airing the Super Bowl this year, and the big game is also streaming live on Paramount+. Both companies are owned by Paramount Global, which is what allows the network synergy for the Nickelodeon cartoon characters to perform.
In the 2001 “SpongeBob SquarePants” episode titled “Band Geeks,” Squidward assembles a ragtag group of musicians to play at the Bubble Bowl, the underwater version of the Super Bowl. After some painful rehearsals — including one where Patrick asks, “Is mayonnaise an instrument?” — Squidward’s band takes the stage and rocks the house with a rendition of the song “Sweet Victory,” written by David Glen Eisley.
The episode has gone down as one of the most popular in “SpongeBob’s” 25-year run, and it’s even appeared at a previous Super Bowl. At the 2019 game, the first after “SpongeBob” creator Stephen Hillenburg’s death in 2018, halftime performer Maroon 5 played a snippet of the “Sweet Victory” clip to introduce rapper Travis Scott. But this year was the first time the entire performance was played in full, much to “SpongeBob” fans’ delight.
The San Francisco 49ers and reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs are facing off against each other in a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl on Sunday. It’s expected to be a fierce showdown, made even more noteworthy be the attendance of Taylor Swift, who is cheering on her boyfriend, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.