Material can operate at two levels. I saw an old cartoon where one of the characters was behaving like Groucho Marx. When I was 5 years old, that character would have just been acting funny, but a lifetime of experience later, it‘s obvious that this is a Groucho imitation.When I was a little kindergarten-kid I used to watch Sesame Street.
Although this is a dedicated series for children my father used to watch it together with me. He laughed his a** off at little scenes that I did not recognize to be funny.
Many years later I realized that the producers purposely put this grown-up-jokes into it to entertain the parents of the kids watching their programme.
Same with Spongebob and other kid`s series. Brilliant.
You can did the same thing with music. End a Country solo by quoting the opening of Eine Kliene Nachtmusik and the younger people in the audience are less likely to recognize that it’s Mozart than the more experienced, who probably would get a chuckle out of it.
I’ve watched some Sponge Bob in my day, and there’s a degree of satire there which probably evades detection by much of the target audience. I got to see Tom Kinney at a Deke Dickerson Guitar Geek Festival, and he was funny as hell. They were talking about the contrast between the Top 40 ballads of the latter ‘70s, and the Ramones. We was singing the opening phrases to some of those songs and quipped that Sponge Bob could probably sing those songs in their original key. IIRC, he actually sang “Babe I’m leaving, must be on my way” as Sponge Bob. Great stuff, and just a few minutes of him working the room, out of character, made it obvious just how talented he was as a performer. He could have been one of many stand-ups, or the one and only Sponge Bob. As the latter, he will be remembered for a very long time.