Bob Ross is one of those rare phenomena that unites generations. The more mature among us will fondly remember his soothing, friendly voice emanating from our TV's back in the 1980's, while younger fans are reveling in his unlikely comeback as the star of wonderfully positive and funny memes, and have rediscovered the gentle joy of his TV show The Joy Of Painting on streaming sites.
We spoke to Sarah Strohl over at Bob Ross Inc, who helped us to put Bob's continuing appeal into perspective. "There were a lot of intentional things done during the filming of The Joy of Painting to make it as timeless as possible from Bob’s choice of dress to the plain black backdrop, but in the end Bob’s enduring popularity really just comes down to Bob," she told Bored Panda.
"People love Bob. He painted amazing landscapes in a very short period of time, but was always humble and more focused on teaching others to do the same than anything else. He’s a very calm, friendly figure on screen, but viewers can also tell that he’s passionate about painting, about animals, about teaching and all of that genuine joy that he wants to pass on to the viewer is infectious. He’s happy when he’s painting and that happiness transfers to the viewer—no matter what year someone is watching, who wouldn’t like that?"
Sarah believes that Bob offers an escape from the stresses and negativity that we are bombarded with in today's world. "He speaks about painting your own happy little world, making a place that is ideal and free of any possible stress," she explained. "No bad things, no sad things. There’s a reason why they are always “happy little trees.” Bob offered painting as a way for viewers to relieve stress. He’s reminded a lot of people watching today to turn to the arts as a way to take a break from everything going on in the world. But for a lot of people, watching Bob paint is the break they need from everyday stress, whether it’s for a love of ASMR or just because The Joy of Painting is a relaxing, happy program that’s easy to watch. Bob would have been absolutely delighted by today’s fans, and especially pleased to see their paintings!"
To celebrate the enduring legacy of Bob, whose can-do attitude and inspiring positivity continues to make people smile more than 20 years after his passing, we have created a list of our favorite memes and posts in his honor. Scroll down below to check out them out for yourself, and vote for the ones you like best!