Following their Mr. Rogers hit, PBS honors Bob Ross, the soft-spoken, bushy-haired public broadcasting icon with a little auto-tune magic. Ross is the star of a new video remix on YouTube, mashing up clips from Ross’ instructional show The Joy of Painting, set to the music of Symphony of Science’s John D. Boswell, aka Musicsheep. Ross has never seemed so encouraging as when he sings: “This is your world, you are the creator. Find freedom on this canvas.”
The “Happy Little Clouds” remix is the second one from PBS Digital Studio, released a month after the auto-tuned mash-up of Fred Rogers, the host of the classic children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, went viral on YouTube. Titled “Garden of the Mind,” it’s accrued nearly six million views, along with a rejuvenated interest in the wisdom of the children’s TV host. Both mash-ups are part of the “PBS icons remixed” series meant to encourage people to talk about public television and to support their local PBS stations.
The Joy of Painting aired on PBS from 1983 to 1994 and is still seen in repeats. Ross died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 52. May his catchphrases — and seemingly effortless painting skills — live on.