During my pre-school years, I stayed glued to PBS from the time I woke up in the morning until the 5:00 PM (CST) airing of Sesame Street ended and gave way to MacNeil/Lehrer. I did give the TV a rest between the 11:00 AM and 2:00PM airings of Sesame Street, because during those hours, PBS aired boring "grown-up shows", such as Sewing With Nancy. However one of these "grown-up shows" managed to capture my interest: The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.
I'm not sure why I was so captivated by this show. Could it have been Bob's soothing voice? His salt and pepper fro? That smooth jazz theme music? Maybe it was classic phrases like "happy little trees" that drew me in. My dad, however, sang a different tune. One day, he put his foot down and refused to watch one more second of "that poofy-haired fucker".
I had no idea that this show ran until 1995. I also didn't know that it started airing in 1983 (my birth year). Judging from Bob's fro, I always assumed that it was from the 70s. I guess I should have known better, his lapels were way too small.
The Joy of Painting's legacy lives on to this day. Reruns still air sporadically. There's even a proposed video game based on the show. No, really. I guess the Frugal Gourmet game was a no-go.
Ultimately, The Joy of Painting taught me a valuable life lesson that everyone should keep with them: "We don't make mistakes, we just make happy accidents."
Here's a sampling. Be warned, Bob tends to get a little crazy with the cadmium yellow!
BONUS! Even the writers of Doug recognized how ripe for parody this guy was.