Bob Ross became an instant TV celebrity with his easy-to-follow painting techniques on PBS in the late '80's. But now his long time Cameraman, Arty Rivers, has written a tell-all memoir about the painting zen-master, who actually detested nature in general.
"Yeah, what Bobby really loved to paint was rusty, toxic garbage cans and dead stuff that smelled like absolute shit," tells Arty. "He actually coined the phrase, 'Grody To The Max.' Not too many people know that."
"But the big-shots at PBS didn't wanna see roadkill and hazardous waste. They'd only put the show on TV if Bob painted pretty mountains and flowery meadows. Man, Bobby really despised that crap. I tell ya, that poor fucker would've gone completely nuts if you put him in front of an old log, in a real meadow. That's why we were always in the studio. In between takes, he had a puke bucket right beside his easel that he'd barf into at least ten times an episode. But he knew how to fake it. He was a master -- wipe off the chin, and he was right back at it. He'd just pretend he was painting a dead hooker in a garbage dump or something. If you look close enough, some of those branches look a lot like human limbs."
Arty's book contained many more stories about Ross's more morbid side, but the editor of the news site which this journalist writes for, was too cheap to pay the $12.95 for a copy of Painting Grody Stuff with Bob Ross, which maddened Arty to the point that he killed a squirrel with his bare hands, right there in the park we were conducting the interview in. After the kill, Arty felt kind of bad, and placed the squirrel in a garbage can. "You see, right there, Bobby would have loved to paint that," said Arty, staring down at the bushy-tailed carcass laying on a soiled diaper. "Damn those PBS assholes. 'Too Macabre?' They wouldn't know good art if it bit them on the balls. Which is another thing he loved to paint--mangled genitalia. Man, I miss that afro-headed bastard so much. If you're up there Bobby, this squirrel's for you, buddy."
Writer's note: After the interview, Arty Rivers wanted us to know for certain, that he, nor Bob Ross, ever killed any of the dead hookers his boss enjoyed painting so much. And because he said it with his fingers tight around my throat, I'm inclined to believe him.