Bob Ross’ painting lessons on PBS marked an unforgettable era of American television, and today, some modern admirers of his work continue his legacy with a web series dedicated to his craft.
The Bob Ross Challenge, a YouTube channel created by Mark Stetson and Micah Sherman, invites special guests like HQ Trivia’s Scott Rogowsky to paint along with classic episodes of "The Joy of Painting," Ross' instructional series that taught at-home viewers to paint amazing artworks.
Sherman explained in an interview with InsideEdition.com he was inspired to start the Bob Ross Challenge by fond memories from his childhood.
“I would watch and I would wonder who was painting along in their living room without stopping,” he said.
For the challenge, Stetson and Sherman invite guests on the show and present them with all the materials Ross used in a specific episode, purchased only from the painter’s website.
“Then we choose an episode of 'The Joy of Painting.' We don’t share that with the painter, and we just press play,” Sherman said. “They have to keep up with Bob Ross without stopping until the end, and once the theme music comes back, they’re done.”
All of their guests, who have been largely first-time painters, have done surprisingly well.
“We initially wanted to call it ‘Bob Ross Fails’ but people were not failing, which really, really surprised us,” Sherman said. “The cool thing about it is people really succeeded. Bob Ross is a really good painting instructor.”
Stetson added, “Which really speaks to the magic of Bob Ross, ... him being so good that no one really failed was pretty fantastic.”
Despite the 80s-era show having ended in 1994, "The Joy of Painting" is making a recent come back and Stetson is using it as an opportunity to spread the word on lymphoma.
Ross was 52 when he died of lymphoma in 1995.
“My father also recently passed away from lymphoma and we really felt connected to that cause so this, on top of being a series that we care about, is a fundraiser for a cause,” Stetson said.
Visit their website for more information on how to donate.