The BEST episodes of Painting with John

Every episode of Painting with John ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Painting with John!

Part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat, each episode finds artist John Lurie ensconced at his worktable, where he hones his intricate watercolor techniques and shares his reflections on what he’s learned about life.

Last Updated: 4/9/2024Network: HBOStatus: Continuing
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 Potato
star
7.75
8 votes

#1 - Potato

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/9/2023

Over a unique blend of music, animation, and painted scenery, John recounts an escape he led from summer camp.

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Your Hands Have Turned into Lightbulbs
star
7.71
7 votes

#2 - Your Hands Have Turned into Lightbulbs

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 3/11/2022

John scares people on bicycles while trying to explain that life is a beautiful and wonderful thing.

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Old Man Dancing
star
7.57
7 votes

#3 - Old Man Dancing

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 3/25/2022

John talks about attending the 1962 World Series with his father.

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The Explosion Story
star
7.55
20 votes

#4 - The Explosion Story

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/29/2021

John damages seven drones in an attempt to film the opening of the series. Then he tells how his cancer treatment led to a disastrous curry shrimp incident in the middle of the night and recalls his meeting with Barry White.

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What?
star
7.22
9 votes

#5 - What?

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 2/18/2022

John sacrifices his handsomeness for humanity – and the introduction of Cowboy Beckett.

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Hermits Unite
star
7.17
6 votes

#6 - Hermits Unite

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/2/2023

John laments how he, the world, and airports are absolute messes before offering a public service announcement on TV binge-watching.

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Children Kicking Hamburger All Over the Highway
star
7.14
7 votes

#7 - Children Kicking Hamburger All Over the Highway

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 2/25/2022

John yells at the moon for not keeping an appointment and gives a lecture about new technology in the theater.

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 How the Music Is Made
star
7.14
7 votes

#8 - How the Music Is Made

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 6/30/2023

John gathers a group of remarkable musicians to write, rehearse, and record music for this season of the show.

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Elephant
star
7.07
15 votes

#9 - Elephant

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 2/5/2021

John recounts how the obsession he and his brother shared for John Coltrane’s “Live at Birdland” resulted in an unfortunate Sunday breakfast and chronicles his epic quest to procure a live eel in Manhattan.

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The Bugs Are Winning
star
7.00
7 votes

#10 - The Bugs Are Winning

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/4/2022

John recounts the time Joey Ramone waved at him.

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 My Friend Flea
star
7.00
6 votes

#11 - My Friend Flea

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 6/23/2023

John receives a visit from his friend Flea, and the two find endless time to catch up… in prison.

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Finding Rudolph
star
6.93
14 votes

#12 - Finding Rudolph

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/26/2021

John considers the complex songs of tree frogs, recounts ongoing attempts to make his cameraman Erik laugh, and reflects on the challenges and benefits of painting with watercolors.

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The Disappearance of Chicken Man
star
6.91
11 votes

#13 - The Disappearance of Chicken Man

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/19/2021

John contemplates uncanny disappearances on the island where he lives. Next, he tells the story of being turned away from the DMV at 17 and how his mother tried to intervene.

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Bob Ross Was Wrong
star
6.82
33 votes

#14 - Bob Ross Was Wrong

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/22/2021

After analyzing how to open his series, John discusses how his parents approached stimulating their children's creativity and their lack of confidence in people until they made them laugh.

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The Night Hunters
star
6.80
5 votes

#15 - The Night Hunters

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 7/7/2023

John shares his appreciation for his long-time assistant and friend Nesrin… and his epic collection of luminary toast.

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The Sea Monster
star
6.63
8 votes

#16 - The Sea Monster

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 6/16/2023

John discusses getting older and Nesrin floats away to music.

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Fame Is Bad
star
6.54
13 votes

#17 - Fame Is Bad

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/12/2021

John explains the origin of the painting he made in “honor” of Gore Vidal, tells the story of the now-famous actor who used to clean his house, and ponders the toll that fame took on his friend Anthony Bourdain.

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Small Car
star
6.50
8 votes

#18 - Small Car

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 3/18/2022

John encounters a drunk pilot and decides it is safe to fly with him, while Ann Mary shares how she makes Weapon Potatoes.

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