The NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” ran from 2009-2015, and starred Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, and Rob Lowe. The popular show was about the antics of a fictitious city in Indiana (Pawnee, IN) and their public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their community a better place. The city Pawnee was based off of and has many reference to Muncie. Even the city map was created from the current Muncie map.
Famed American painter Bob Ross filmed his weekly half-hour The Joy of Painting show at TV station WIPB in Muncie from 1984 until the show ended in 1994. The show still airs today in syndication on PBS stations throughout the country, more than 20 years after Ross died at age 52 in 1995.
Jim Davis, cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Garfield, was born in Marion in 1945 and joined the faculty of Ball State University in 2016 as an adjunct professor. Odd stat: Davis’ first wife, Carolyn, was allergic to cats.
The well-known Ball Corporation that produces glass jars and lids for home canning began its long history in Muncie, starting its operation in 1889. Today, the company is headquartered in Broomfield, Colo.
General Motors outfitted many of their muscle cars from 1963-1975 with a hopped-up transmission called the Muncie 4 Speed, named for the manufacturing plant in Muncie where it was created. The Muncie 4 Speed became legendary and went into cars like Chevy Corvettes, Camaros. Pontiac Firebirds and Trans Ams.
Late-night talk show legend David Letterman began his entertainment career in Muncie when he attended Ball State University from 1965-1969. He hosted an on-campus radio show on WBST called Make It or Break It in 1965, but that rock ‘n’ roll radio gig only lasted a week, playing the worst songs he could find and concocting fake news stories. Today, gracing the Ball State campus is a David Letterman Communication and Media Building.