The best thing to happen on Twitch all year comes to a close later tonight. Or at least, it's supposed to.
For the last week, a Bob Ross marathon of every episode of The Joy of Painting has been broadcasting on Twitch, and it's been a delight. Every time I've tuned in, I become mesmerised by Bob Ross and his happy little trees, or overjoyed by the chat's reaction to the show.
Bob Ross practically became an e-sport thanks to Twitch: at the start of each painting, people type in 'GLHF,' and at the end, they cheer, 'GG' — just like they would an actual multiplayer match. Miraculously, even the memes on the stream are fantastic: I love when people yell RUINED into the chat whenever Bob's brush strokes look odd, and I adore the sense of relief that comes when he brings it all together and people scream SAVED. And it tickles me that the chat has also memorized the names of each and every single one of the paint colours that Bob likes to use. There's so much excitement and positivity in the Bob Ross stream, and it runs completely counter to everything we're constantly told about the internet and its coldness.
In just a week, Bob Ross has become a beloved part of Twitch. But it's all coming to an end later today, at 10:35am (3:35pm PST). Hence the countdown on the stream. Nobody wants to accept this reality, however. Currently, people are taking to Twitter with the hashtag #KEEPBOB...
And the chat itself is inundated with either #KEEPBOB, or the BibleThump emoticon — which signifies sadness:
— I_Liek_Turtlez (@TurtlezAreLive) November 6, 2015
Will Twitch actually end the stream then, though? The viewership has been high throughout its entire run; at one point I spotted around 60k people, and as of this writing, there are still 42k people watching. That's a ton of people! The channel also has a 'subscribe' button, which seems odd to include for something that's going to disappear in a week's time. The money is going to charity, but still. The stream seems lucrative, popular, and loved enough that I feel sceptical that it's actually going away forever.
But just in case it is? I hope you'll join me in watching Bob Ross tell everyone why they, too, can be a great artist.
And remember: you can always watch Bob Ross on YouTube, too.