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Who would have known you could build a household brand with nothing more than painting, happy little trees, and the coolest ‘fro since Jimmy Hendricks? While working as a bartender, Bob Ross taught himself to paint watching television painter Bill Alexander on his show The Magic of Oil Painting. After a move to Muncie, Indiana and one massive perm later, Ross shot his first episode of The Joy of Painting from the local PBS affiliate. What followed was more than a decade of beautifully painted nature scenes from one of the most positive dudes on PBS (And that’s a station that Mr. Rogers called home).
In its 11 year run, The Joy of Painting enjoyed 31 seasons and over 400 episodes where Ross painted everything from forests, to meadows; desserts to oceans, and even the occasional Kinkade mountainside cottage. Each episode Ross starts on a fresh canvas, and before the episode ends, a gorgeous painting is produced. Better yet, Ross teaches you serious painting technique and encourages you to make the occasional mistake and relish the simple joy of creating masterpieces with a brush. It’s about as relaxing and chill as a show gets.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch The Joy of Painting online for free.
How did Bob Ross die?
Bob Ross was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1994, which forced him to retire from his popular painting program. He passed away on May 17, 1995, at age 52.
What channel was Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting on?
Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting lasted for 31 seasons, from 1983 through 1994 on PBS.
How to watch Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting
With the advent of YouTube, Bob Ross became an instant meme as the “happy paint guy.” Luckily, you can actually watch full episodes of his program Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting on a number of services you’re likely already streaming from. And because these services are available for a trial period, you can watch Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting online for free.
- Cost: $12.99 per month (after 30-day trial)
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, Nvidia Shield, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii
If you’re using Amazon Prime for free two-day shipping, you also gain access to Prime Video. Access to Amazon’s massive video library requires a subscription to Amazon Prime, which is $12.99 per month. Not only will you gain access to 2-day shipping, but it’s the only place online to watch most of the Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting series. Seasons 10-31 are available on the Amazon Prime Video library. Some streaming services only offer a week free. Amazon Prime is free for an entire month before you decide to commit to a full-blown subscription.
Where to watch Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting episodes
While Amazon is the place where you can get the most Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting episodes, there are a few other places you may be able to get your fix of positive painting.
- Cost: $5.99 per month (after a 7-day trial)
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
Seasons 20-25 of Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting is available on Hulu. The streaming service, which just slashed the cost of its ad-supported version to a mere $5.99 per month, offers these episodes of The Joy of Painting on-demand. In fact, when it comes to classic 90s shows, you can’t beat Hulu, which also offers Seinfeld, Cheers, and plenty more. You can also upgrade to Hulu No Commercials for $11.99 per month. Plus, since you get a week-long free trial before you have to spend a penny, it’s a great place to watch Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting for free.
- Cost: $7.99-13.99/month (after a free month)
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii
Netflix is the king of online streaming, or at least, it’s the most ubiquitous one. You can’t stream the entire series, but Netflix has two Bob Ross collections including Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere and Chill with Bob Ross. Each collection has 26 episodes.
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Jaime Carillo is a writer for Pure Nintendo and a plucky YouTube cook. He specializes in writing about console gaming and kitchen gadgets. It comes naturally, considering he's either wielding a massive cleaver or Switch Pro controller at any given point. When he's not cruising through a drive-thru at 2am, he's baking shokupan or whipping up a big pot of Japanese curry. He enjoys retro gaming, geopolitics, and Vic Berger videos.