The Indiana Studio Where Bob Ross Filmed The Joy of Painting Is Being Turned Into a Happy Little Tourist Attraction

The L.L. Ball House
The L.L. Ball House
David Ellis, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Even if you've binge-watched every episode of The Joy of Painting, you may not have have given much thought to where the show was filmed. But Bob Ross's beloved program isn't set in a magical place outside space and time—it was shot in a real home in Muncie, Indiana. Now, the Ball State Daily News reports that the historic house is being turned into a tourist attraction.

The L.L. Ball home at the Minnestrista museum and public gathering space served as Ross's studio from 1983 to 1988. It's where he crafted the landscape paintings, spoke the words of encouragement, and made the happy little accidents that turned The Joy of Painting into a sensation.

At the new "Bob Ross Experience" at Minnestrista, fans will get to walk in the footsteps of the iconic artist. The exhibit will showcase some of Ross's original paintings, as well as a real palette he used to paint them. Keeping with the spirit of The Joy of Painting, guests will even get to create artworks of their own in the house's "interactive painting studio."

In order to build the exhibit and restore Bob Ross's studio to its former glory, Minnestrista has launched a fundraising effort. The Indiegogo campaign has raised more than $19,000 of its $200,000 goal, with the streaming service Twitch matching every dollar that's donated up to $25,000. You have until the end of today, November 5, to contribute.

The "Bob Ross Experience" is set to open in October 2020 in honor of the artist's birthday on October 29. You can find more happy little facts about Bob Ross here.

[h/t Ball State Daily News]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

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Wa Wa Wee Wa: The Origin of Borat's Favorite Catchphrase

Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Wa wa wee wa! Sacha Baron Cohen is back in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020).
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

When Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was released in 2006, a new audience was exposed to Borat Sagdiyev, a “journalist” portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen who had made frequent appearances on the comedian’s Da Ali G Show.

Soon, in our country there was problem: People mimicked Borat’s catchphrases, "very nice" and “wa wa wee wa,” incessantly. The latter phrase was used to denote surprise or happiness on Borat’s part. While some may have assumed it was made up, it turns out that it actually means something.

Wa wa wee wa is Hebrew, which Cohen speaks throughout the film and which helped make Borat a hit in Israel. (Cohen is himself Jewish.) It was taken from an Israeli comedy show and is the equivalent of the word wow. Reportedly, the expression was popular among Israelis, and they appreciated Cohen’s use of it.

The original Borat also sees Cohen singing a popular Hebrew folk song, “Koom Bachur Atzel,” or “get up lazy boy,” among other Hebrew mentions. It remains to be seen how much of it he’ll be speaking in the sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It premieres on Amazon Prime Friday, October 23.

[h/t The Los Angeles Times]