Today, Bob Ross is being wished a happy birthday by one of the internet's most popular sites, Google. He's depicted in a heart-warming Google "doodle" doing what he did best. Appropriately, he has a small squirrel perched on his shoulder!
In the video below, PBS Digital Studios also pays an amazing tribute to the painter that inspired so many young children with his programming. Modernized for a refreshed look at Bob's work, the creative video remixes Bob's soothing style with a relaxed "auto-tuned" melody.
Personally, I'll never forget the time I spent sprawled out on my grandparents' cold, stone basement floors eagerly awaiting Bob Ross, with a big pad of paper and random drawing tools spread out around me. Following along with him was always a blast, even if the final product never came out anywhere nearly as good as Bob's! The way he smoothly guided viewers through a painting was captivating and, as a child, I appreciated his slow and patient teaching. Many children's shows these days (from what I've seen) are totally chaotic by comparison. To me, PBS and Bob Ross represent a quieter time for learning that more should aim to emulate.
PC World mentions that it was Bob's soothing tone that made him a pop culture icon: "Ross' soothing tone and encouraging nature made him a pop-culture icon, with references on shows like Family Guy, Conan O'Brien, and The Boondocks. He also teamed up with MTV for a promo spot that introduced him to a whole new generation of viewers."