He worked at the campus radio station and also at Jonesboro's Raycom Media owned ABC-affiliated television station, KAIT-TV, where he had multiple duties as announcer, film processor, cameraman, audio technician, and technical director.
While at KAIT, he also wrote, produced, and performed in a late-night comedy program called Mid-Century Nonsense Festival Featuring Kumquat Theater. He graduated from A-State in 1976, and when encouraged by an A-State professor to consider professional theater, he went to New York in June 1977.
In 1979, Bumpass was awarded the leading role in a National Lampoon film to be called Jaws: 3 People: 0, in which he would have a love scene with Bo Derek. However, the film was canceled due to objections by the creators of the film Jaws.
In 1980, Bumpass created the character of 'Fartman' to appear on the National LampoonLPThe White Album, which later inspired the Howard Stern character by the same name.
On January 15, 2016, before 11:00 P.M., Bumpass was arrested with suspicion of driving under the influence at Burbank, California. A police report of the incident alleged that officers of the Burbank Police Department found Bumpass in his blue Chrysler PT Cruiser on the middle of the road. He was said to have leaned against the car, and when officers walked up to Bumpass for questioning, he tried to walk away and lost his balance, nearly falling to the ground. He confessed to driving after drinking at a Burbank bar before cops spotted him, and he was soon handcuffed after failing a sobriety test. His blood alcohol levels were said to be more than twice the legal limit. He was released the following day on a $15,000 bail. The incident was first reported by celebrity gossip website TMZ several days after the incident, on January 19. A day later, Bumpass alleged to the website that the police had lied about the DUI report, claiming that he was not leaning against his car when officers spotted him, and that he was being tailed and pulled over by the officers before his arrest, though he did confess again to the DUI charge. Nickelodeon representatives were notified of the incident by Bumpass, but did not release any immediate comments or actions regarding the matter.
On January 25, 2016, ten days after the incident, Nickelodeon representatives confirmed to TMZ that Bumpass would remain on SpongeBob SquarePants for the foreseeable future. The representatives alleged that the network's morals clause for the show did not consider DUI charges to be an immoral act, and thus Bumpass was not legally subject to termination. He has been faced with drunk driving charges.
Bumpass has stated the best way to voice Squidward is to put it all in the nose and give him the "Oh PuhLEEZE!" attitude.
Rodger Bumpass was the first actor on SpongeBob SquarePants to be arrested.
He played the pilot for his family and his father was asleep after the whole thing.
Rodger is the only cast member who still uses dial-up.
He got married to his love who has been his girlfriend for 50 years, Angela.
Bumpass often likes to ride on a recumbent bicycle for exercise. This inspired a scene in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie where Squidward rides a recumbent bike.