Derek Drymon

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Derek Drymon
Born (1968-11-19) November 19, 1968 (age 52)
EducationSchool of Visual Arts
OccupationComedian, voice actor, television writer, storyboard artist, animator
Years active1990–present

Derek Drymon (born November 19, 1968) is an American writer, storyboard artist, television director, executive producer, and supervising producer. He has worked on numerous animated cartoon productions of the 1990s and 2000s, best known for his work on Rocko's Modern Life, SpongeBob SquarePants and Adventure Time.

Early life[edit]

Derek Drymon was born in New Jersey.[1] He attended Jefferson Township and Dover public schools as a child and enjoyed drawing and making comic books. Drymon graduated from Jefferson Township High School in 1987.[2] Drymon attended the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, where he majored in Illustration, sharpening his drawing skills and moving from still images to animation. He graduated from SVA in 1992.[3]


Drymon obtained an internship with Disney on the strength of his life drawings.[3]

Drymon was discovered by Nickelodeon in 1993. He moved to California to work as an animator for Nickelodeon. In 1993, Drymon also began working as a storyboard artist and writer for Rocko's Modern Life. It was here he met two of his future employers, Tim Hill and Stephen Hillenburg; Hill was a writer, Hillenburg a co-producer and storyboard artist. In 1997, Hillenburg created SpongeBob SquarePants. Drymon performed many duties on SpongeBob, including being a writer on all episodes, the creative director, and, on his last season with the show, supervising producer.[4] Drymon also worked on the Cartoon Network animated series Camp Lazlo. Drymon worked on Tim Hill's side project, the popular KaBlam! skit Action League Now!, as a storyboard artist. He also wrote the Emmy Award-nominated episode of CatDog "Doggone".[5]

Drymon met Stephen Hillenburg on the Nickelodeon cartoon Rocko's Modern Life. Hillenburg recalled Drymon as "one of the main people in the genesis of SpongeBob". Drymon teamed up with Hillenburg and Nick Jennings who was also a companion from Nickelodeon. Drymon was the creative director for the first three seasons and became Supervising Producer in season 3 until being replaced by Paul Tibbitt starting in season 4. Along with Stephen Hillenburg, Drymon approved the writers' ideas and outlines for episodes and controlled the creative and production process on SpongeBob.[citation needed]

Drymon was eventually promoted to Executive producer on television show Adventure Time, and become a lead writer for DreamWorks Pictures, and a director at Illumination Entertainment. During the first three seasons of SpongeBob, Drymon being creative director allowed him to work with executive story editor Merriwether Williams and the rest of the writing team. Drymon's past experiences in life allowed writers to gain inspiration for episodes. In the satirical season 2 episode "Sailor Mouth", SpongeBob and Patrick learn "bad words" and eventually start using them only discover the words causing controversy with the citizens Bikini Bottom, the episode was inspired by Drymon as a kid who said a bad word to his mother once at a very young age".[citation needed]

Staff writer Kent Osborne responded to the writing process with Drymon and other writers by saying "By the third season we had done 26 half-hours. I came up with millions of ideas". Despite the issues with writing new episodes, Drymon collaborated with the writers to create episode ideas like the half-hour specials and episodes that focused on other characters, for example the season three episodes "The Algae Always Greener" and "Plankton's Army" focused on Sheldon Plankton and "Doing Time" focused on Mrs. Puff. Drymon said in an interview "Coming up with episode ideas was always tough". The writers were influenced for the episode "The Secret Box", which was influenced by Drymon because he told them when he was younger he kept a "secret box", the writers thought it was hilarious and weird and used Drymon's idea to create the story of the episode. Drymon co-wrote the pilot episode "Help Wanted". Drymon earned two Emmy nominations and along with the crew of SpongeBob won the "Best Animated Television Production" Annie award in 2005 for season 3 of SpongeBob.[citation needed]

Drymon hired a large amount of the staff writers, including Sam Henderson, a friend and fellow alumnus of SVA, along with Kent Osborne and Walt Dohrn.[citation needed]

Drymon was an executive producer (with Fred Seibert) on the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, created by Pendleton Ward for the show's first season. He was no longer credited on episodes starting with the second season.[6] Drymon currently works for DreamWorks Animation.

On September 17, 2020, Drymon was set to co-direct Hotel Transylvania 4 with story artist Jeniffer Kluska.[7]

Personal life[edit]

As of 1998, Drymon lives in Los Angeles.[1]



Year Title Notes
1994–1996 Rocko's Modern Life Storyboard artist/writer
1996 Hey Arnold! Storyboard artist/director
1996–2000 KaBlam! Storyboard artist
1998 CatDog Storyboard director/storyboard artist/storyboard supervisor/writer
1999–2004 SpongeBob SquarePants Creative director (1999–2004)/writer (1999)/storyboard artist (Help Wanted)/voice director (1999–2004)/supervising producer (2002–2004)
2007 Diggs Tailwagger Creator/director/writer/executive producer (pilot)
2008 Camp Lazlo Writer/storyboard director
2010 Danger Planet Creator/writer (pilot)
2010 The Stockboys of the Apocalypse Creator/writer (pilot)
2010 Adventure Time Executive producer
2017 Billy Dilley's Super-Duper Subterranean Summer Writer ("Crab Hands" episode)


Year Title Role Notes
2003 My Life with Morrissey Bad Comedian
2004 The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie The Screamer/Fisherman writer/storyboard artist/executive producer/sequence director
2008 Kung Fu Panda additional story artist
2009 Monsters vs. Aliens additional story artist
2010 Shrek Forever After story artist
Megamind special thanks
2011 Hop storyboard artist
Kung Fu Panda 2 additional story artist
Puss in Boots additional story artist
Night of the Living Carrots storyboard artist
Arthur Christmas executive producer/special thanks/additional voices (Uncredited)
2013 Turbo Worker Snail #2/FAST Network Trackside Reporter story artist
2014 Penguins of Madagascar head of story
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water writer, "Squeeze Me"
2016 Kung Fu Panda 3 story artist
2017 Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie story artist
2021 Hotel Transylvania 4 director


Month Title Issue Story Publisher Notes
Apr. 2011 SpongeBob Comics No. 2 "Picture This!" United Plankton Pictures Story
Jun. 2011 No. 3 "Squidward and the Golden Clarinet"
Oct. 2011 No. 5 "Day Off / Off Day"
Aug. 2012 No. 11 "Dear Diary"
Oct. 2012 No. 13 "Drawn In" and "The Curse of the Flying Dutchman"
Nov. 2012 No. 14 "For the Love of Chum"
Dec. 2012 No. 15 "Connect the Dots"
Jan. 2013 No. 16 "The Treasure of Captain Goldfish"
Apr. 2013 No. 19 "Morning Melody"
May 2013 No. 20 "Sponge Monkey"
Oct. 2013 No. 25 "The Dutchman's Challenge"
Jan. 2014 No. 28 "Curse of the King Krabbe"
"My Life as a Crossing Guard"
Feb. 2014 No. 29 "Scaredy Snail"
May 2014 No. 32 "Showdown at the Shady Shoals: Part 1"
Jun. 2014 No. 33 "Showdown at the Shady Shoals: Part 2"
Jul. 2014 No. 34 "Showdown at the Shady Shoals: Part 3"
Aug. 2014 No. 35 "Showdown at the Shady Shoals: Part 4"
Sept. 2014 No. 36 "Showdown at the Shady Shoals: Part 5"
Oct. 2014 No. 37 "Dreams of the Dreaming Dreamer"
Feb. 2015 No. 41 "Star of the Show" and "Snow Job"
Apr. 2015 No. 43 "Fry Cook 2.0"
Jun. 2015 No. 45 "Patrick's Itch"
Oct. 2015 No. 49 "Patty Thing!"
Nov. 2015 No. 50 "Mash-Up Pants"
Apr. 2016 No. 55 "The Ballad of Barnacle Bill: Part 1"
May 2016 No. 56 "The Ballad of Barnacle Bill: Part 2"
Jun. 2016 No. 57 "On the Lam"


  1. ^ a b [ht=movies "Derek Drymon"]. Metacritic. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Jennings, Rob. "Jefferson native, SpongeBob go way back: Cartoonist an executive producer for animated film" Archived September 8, 2012, at, Daily Record, November 19, 2004. Retrieved Octo2007. "But in Jefferson, Drymon is perhaps best remembered as an offensive guard and defensive tackle on the high school's state championship football team in 1986.... At Jefferson High School, when not playing football, Drymon was sketching comic books."
  3. ^ a b Halm, Dan (Winter 2002). "Soaking in Talent" Visual Arts Journal, School of Visual Arts (New York City). pp. 24 – 25.
  4. ^ Heintjes, Tom (September 21, 2012). "The Oral History of SpongeBob SquarePants". Hogan's Alley. Archived from the original on August 31, 2015. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  5. ^ "Legacy: 26th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (1998)". ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  6. ^ Meiss, Richard. "8 Facts You Might Not Have Known About 'Adventure Time'", Smosh November 18, 2015. "We show you the most surprising facts about Adventure Time we ... are stretched – that's Derek Drymon, the former executive producer, typing."
  7. ^ Donnelly, Matt (September 17, 2020). "Selena Gomez Upped to Executive Producer for 'Hotel Transylvania 4,' Returns as Female Lead (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 17, 2020.

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