The French Narrator (a.k.a. Frenchy) is a supporting character on SpongeBob SquarePants. He is a deep-sea explorer with a French accent who studies the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom. The narrator is frequently heard at the beginnings and ends of episodes, setting up the scene. He is normally not seen in person, with the exceptions of onscreen appearances in "No Free Rides", "Feral Friends", and "SpongeBob's Big Birthday Blowout".
He is voiced by Tom Kenny, who also plays SpongeBob, Gary, and Patchy. In his rare live-action appearances, the French Narrator is physically portrayed by Dan Southworth, with Tom Kenny still providing the voice.
As revealed in "Feral Friends", the French narrator wears an old-fashioned 1900s diving suit with a gold tint. On top of his helmet, he wears a red beanie cap.
The narrator is based on Jacques Cousteau, a marine researcher and one of SpongeBob creator Stephen Hillenburg's idols. Cousteau's son, Jean-Michel Cousteau, made a guest appearance in a special feature on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie DVD, talking about the real-life species that inspired the characters on SpongeBob.
- According to showrunner Vincent Waller on Twitter, Dan Southworth was hired to wear the French Narrator's diving suit because of his strength. The diving helmet weighs about 50 pounds alone, which required a very strong actor to play the role.
- Not counting the theme song, he is the first character to speak in the series, as he opens the pilot episode "Help Wanted" with an introduction to SpongeBob.
- In "Mimic Madness", SpongeBob imitates him and wears a red beanie cap in his likeness.
- In the 2016 pre-Broadway run of the musical in Chicago, the French narrator was voiced by Mark Ledbetter. For the final Broadway version of the show, Tom Kenny specially recorded his lines as the narrator, and the recording of them is played throughout the musical.