The tabloids love when celebrities are good friends. They’ll feature cute stories about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon hanging out, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler goofing off, or Brad Pitt and George Clooney playing pranks on each other. And yet, despite this, the most wholesome celebrity buddy pairing of all has gone ignored for too long: James Gandolfini and SpongeBob SquarePants.
Following up on a tweet from @madisonegar that captures some of Gandolfini and SpongeBob’s public appearances together, Mel Magazine’s Miles Klee looked into how an actor best known for playing a Jersey mob boss became friends with a pineapple-dwelling, gap-toothed sea sponge.
The story is somehow even more endearing than just seeing Gandolfini palling around with a bug-eyed cartoon character. Klee outlines the actor’s philanthropic work, which “focused on education, cancer research, and veterans,” and found that his SpongeBob hangouts took place at “an annual event called Dream Halloween” that raises “money for children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.” This also helps explain how Gandolfini ended up posing for the fantastic shots Klee tweeted of him alongside other children’s entertainment luminaries (and Jon Bon Jovi).
“So there you have it,” the article ends. “The reason we keep finding ‘new’ photos of James Gandolfini and SpongeBob together is that he was just a damn decent human.”
Just in case you need more convincing, check out some more evidence of by way of an old Sesame Street episode that includes Gandolfini hugging muppets, smiling at lollipops, and talking more openly and honestly about his deepest fears than any session with Dr. Melfi could’ve revealed.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to email@example.com