The Immortal Bob Ross

I meant to write a post about Bob Ross—he of the “happy little trees”—back in July, but…well, stuff happened. Once July ended, it kind of went on the back burner. Last week, however, College Humor published an article by Amir Khan entitled “15 Times Bob Ross Was EXTREMELY Bob Ross,” which offers a touching tribute to the man:

Bob, you taught us how to find those little happy trees within ourselves, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

The post is definitely worth a look.

By pumpkin46654, via College Humor

By pumpkin46654, via College Humor

Bob Ross, as you may know, hosted a public television show called “The Joy of Painting.” You might not think that this would be a path to a sort of superstardom, but here we are, talking about the man. I don’t think you could find anyone on Earth who, once they knew who Bob Ross is, wouldn’t love him, at least a little bit.

The Internet has been a gold mine of Bob Ross, from memes and animated GIFs to Autotuned music videos:

I mentioned earlier that I meant to write about Bob Ross in July. Why July? One simple reason:

July 4, 2015 was the twentieth anniversary of Bob Ross’ death. This man, who remains a cultural icon, someone who seems perfect for the era of GIFs and memes, did not live to see “Internet” become a household word.

He might be the subject of gentle mockery, but any fun poked at him is respectful—he had funny hair, and he wasn’t “cool” in any expected sense, but he had a passion (dare I say he had a joy?) that cannot be denied. His very lack of “coolness” made him cooler than most of us could ever aspire to be.

Even those who never felt inspired by him to paint (like me) still found inspiration in the calm, soothing way he made it feel okay to be whomever we already were, and to dream of being a better version of ourselves.

Just watch the man for a few minutes and tell me you don’t feel inspired, or soothed, or becalmed.

Here we are, in 2015, talking about a man who hosted a PBS painting show and who died over twenty years ago. If that’s not a modern form of immortality, what is?

Via Giphy

Via Giphy

Bob Ross isn’t just a cool guy with a soothing voice.

Bob Ross is immortal.

Honor him.

Photo credit: “Beauty is everywhere” by pumpkin46654, via College Humor; “Happy accidents” via Giphy.


One thought on “The Immortal Bob Ross

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Bob when I worked at a PBS station in Indiana (Bob taped his later shows in Muncie, Indiana). He was just as nice as he appeared on his shows. My biggest mistake was that I had a chance to buy one of his paintings at the stations yearly auction, but decided to give viewers a chance to buy it first. Little did I know at that time that he would soon be dead.

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