Bob Ross

Bob Ross

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White Man's Afro Soothing, Pillow-Talk Voice Loved by Squirrels


Bob Ross (1942 – 1995) was an American painter best known for his instructional television show The Joy of Painting, which aired on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations from January 1983 to May 1994.


The Joy of Painting was an American half-hour instructional television show hosted by Ross. During each episode, Ross would complete an imaginary landscape using a variety of tools and brushes while using the wet-on-wet oil painting technique; instructing viewers regarding the techniques so anyone could follow along.

Prior to his painting career, the Florida-raised Ross was a member of the United States Air Force which brought him to Alaska, inspiring the first snow and mountains that would become a theme in his artwork. Ross also had an affection for small animals, which he raised and set free; occasionally bringing them with him in the show. He was known for several catchphrases coined on his show, including "happy little trees" and "there are no mistakes, only happy accidents";[1] alongside his afro haircut and soothing voice became notable characteristics associated with him.

Online History

The Joy of Painting is still frequently syndicated by PBS stations nationwide, and there have been several events of online newsworthiness featuring the painter and his show. Clips of Ross frequently show up in YouTube Poop and montage parody videos [2] (see below video parody section), and even PBS' own Digital Studios has remixed Ross videos to create a viral hit, entitled "Bob Ross Remixed" (shown below, left). Since its original posting in July of 2012, this video has acquired over 8.92 million views. In addition, the online series "Epic Rap Battles of History" featured a Bob Ross vs. Pablo Picasso battle (shown below, right); since it's posting in November of 2013, that video has gained over 26 million views.

On April 14th, 2014, the popular statistics blog FiveThirtyEight released an analysis they'd created of Bob Ross' painting catalog. They found that Ross painted trees, mountains, and clouds more frequently than any other types of objects, and used the painter's oeuvre to explain several statistical methods.[3] This analysis proved to be a viral hit for the site, and the work was covered by mainstream press outlets like The Verge,[4] Laughing Squid,[5] and the AV Club.[6]

Twitch Marathon

To celebrate the launch of their new channel called Twitch Creative,[10] the streaming site Twitch streamed every episode of The Joy of Painting in a 400 hour, 8.5 day marathon, complete with their traditional chat structure.[7] The stream, which began on October 29th, 2015, averaged about 40,000 views at any given time, and as of November 3rd, 2015, had acquired over 2.3 million total views and over 314,000 followers. The stream was controversial both because of the mainstream, non-gaming community that were pulled to the site,[8] and also because of the mainstream's reaction to the Twitch chat group, which, for instance, reacted negatively when Ross had a female guest on to paint.[9]

During the stream, various phrases gained memetic usage during notable sections in the show: Such as viewers saying "RUINED" whenever Bob Ross painted over an earlier done section and saying "GG" at the end of each episode. Twitch itself also appealed to the site's memes by introducing KappaRoss, a variation of Twitch's highly popular Kappa emote edited to have Ross' characteristic afro; likewise the stream's introduction image also featured an image of Josh DeSeno, the face of Kappa, as Bob Ross (shown below).

tch tv/sohlol SeppTheMaster: RUINED Nycprncs: RUINED Miningsapphire:message deleted EmoNaomiFallen: PRAISE TREESUS spazcorp: <message deleted> bartal11: HAX OMG HAX BucketsTV RUINED kr-39: son of a gun QueueBall <message deleted> Th3DarkWolff: RU INED W-- viquel45: RUINED LOKIUR: RUINED ilikemyfood: RUINED Meowz123: RUINED TheGarlicLord: RUINED Littlecoffee: RUINED Fuhrin: RUINED Hanshering: RUINED

The first stream ended on November 6th with over 180,000 viewers. Following this, the stream started to feature a countdown leading to November 9th; where Twitch introduced the Bob Ross Mini Monday Marathon, a weekly monday stream featuring one season of The Joy of Painting from 3pm PST to 9:30pm PST.[11] Alongside with the new stream, several emoticons were also added to the Twitch chat; including bobrossCloud and bobrossTree, based on Ross' popular comments towards painting them; and several of Ross' brushes and phrases. During the first monday stream, the channel managed to surpass over over 445,000 likes and reached nearly 4 million total views; viewers averaged out at around 50,000, being higher at the start of the stream but gradually dropping over time.

Photoshop Bob Ross

Photoshop Bob Ross is a photoshop meme using an image template of the celebrity painter standing in front of a blank canvas. Taken from a promotional photograph for his instructional television program The Joy of Painting, it is most often used as an exploitable to frame various images in the blank canvas as if they were drawn by Ross.

Video Parodies

In addition to the photoshop meme, there are several video parodies and tributes to Ross' show, The Joy of Painting. This can be attributed to the show's continued syndication on public access television networks.

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