“The Bob Ross Challenge”

Sometimes, we all could use the serenity that the late Bob Ross offered with his PBS painting show, The Joy of Painting. Ross died in 1995. But his spirit and his TV episodes live on, inspiring all of us to paint happy little clouds and trees.

You may have seen some of your favorite YouTubers trying to paint like Bob Ross in recent months.

Their efforts have also been inspired and influenced by comedians Micah Sherman and Mark Stetson, who launched “The Bob Ross Challenge” last summer not only for fun, but also as a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Ross died of lymphoma, as did Stetson’s father.

Aparna Nancherla kicked off the first season. Last month, they got covered by Inside Edition, of all places. Roll the clip!

The first season’s episodes were short and sweet, each only about 90 seconds. For season two, they’ve lengthened the action to about four minutes each. The comedians typically get sidetracked at some point and fall off the pace of Ross’s painting. Mia Jackson keeps laughing and provoking even bigger laughs from Sherman offscreen. The faces Taylor Ortega makes are worth it alone. Happy Anderson slides in and out of multiple celebrity impersonations. Abbi Crutchfield’s choice of words to avoid profanity are hot dang amusing. Ben Sinclair (High Maintenance), Robert Dean, Joe Zimmerman, and more all take a turn behind the easel. Janelle James even surprises herself with her skills.

Season 2 just wrapped last week.

As Sherman and Stetson reveal:

At first, we wanted to call this series Bob Ross Fails. Then we shot a couple episodes and realized that Bob was such a good painting teacher that people weren’t failing at all. They were succeeding. So we went with the Bob Ross Challenge with the hopes that other people would try painting along with the Joy of Painting themselves. Plus, in the words of Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”

The web series has support from Mashable.

If you want to try this at home…

Bob Ross Challenge Rules:

1. Get some painting supplies from https://www.BobRoss.com. They have Bob Ross brand oil paints, brushes, knives, canvases, easels, odorless paint thinner, easels, buckets & more, everything a happy little painter needs.

2. Select your favorite episode of The Joy of Painting from https://www.youtube.com/BobRossInc.

3. Press play and paint along with Bob without stopping.

4. Share your art with the world. Hashtag it with #BobRossIsABoss.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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