Steve Burns Blues Clues

Those born in the 1990s and 2000s know Steve Burns as the lead of the upbeat children’s show, Blue’s Clues. Many kids growing up during that time probably have vivid memories of turning on the TV and watching Steve and Blue uncover various puzzles together. While Steve always seemed to be happy and charismatic in every episode, the children’s show star felt much differently when the camera was off.

Burns recently opened up about his depression during his time on Blue’s Clues, addressing fans directly to explain his abrupt departure from the show when they were young. Here’s everything on what he shared and more.

9/9 Who Is Steve Burns?

Steve Burns is an actor, television host, singer, and musician originally from Pennsylvania. He has also done some voiceover work for advertisements. While Burns has had his hand in many areas of entertainment, he is best known for the lead role in the children’s show Blue’s Clues. In fact, Burns was nominated for a daytime Emmy in 2001 for his role in the show.

8/9 When Did Blues Clues Air?

Blue’s Clues first premiered in 1996. As mentioned, Steve held the lead role, hosting the show while Blue, an animated, blue-spotted puppy, left clues for him and the audience to try and solve. The show was meant to appeal to preschoolers, and when Steve first auditioned for the role, he never intended to be a children’s host.

7/9 When Did Steve Leave The Show?

Steve opted to leave Blue’s Clues in 2002, after 100 episodes and 6 years of being the host. This was explained by saying that Steve was leaving for college, and while he was gone, his younger brother Joe, played by Donovan Patton, would be taking over. Steve’s final episodes aired as a three-part special in 2002, and Donovan remained in the role until the show ended in 2006.

Related: What Are These 2000s Nickelodeon Stars Doing Today?

6/9 What Did Steve Say About His Mental Health While On The Show?

After Steve left the show, many wondered what happened to the Blue’s Clues host. Some speculated that he had joined the military, or even passed away in a car crash. When previously asked about his departure, Steve would sometimes joke that he was beginning to lose his hair and didn’t want to wear a wig on TV. While that may have been partially true, Steve has recently opened up about some another bigger reason that led to him leaving.

In an interview with Variety, Steve said, “I didn’t know it yet, but I was the happiest depressed person in North America. I was struggling with severe clinical depression the whole time I was on that show. It was my job to be utterly and completely full of joy and wonder at all times, and that became impossible.”

He went on to say, “My strategy had been: ‘Hey, you got a great thing going, so just fight it!’ Turns out, you don’t fight depression; you collect it. After I left Blue’s Clues, there was a long period of healing. It wasn’t until the death of my father that I really started to take things seriously, and my life became so much more manageable.”

5/9 What Was It Like For Him After He Left The Show?

Steve is one of many celebrities to prioritize their mental health before their career. Leaving wasn’t easy for him, though. As stated before, rumors about his death circulated, and despite an effort by Steve to make public appearances to dispel the rumors, they kept coming back.

Steve opened up about the impact of this on his mental health, saying, “I was under the working assumption that most of y’all thought I was dead. That rumor was so persistent and so indelible that I assumed it was a cultural preference. I eventually just took the hint. I kept my head down and left public life.”

Related: What Happened To The Hosts Of Those Old School Nickelodeon Game Shows?

4/9 Does Steve Have Any Regrets?

While Steve thinks his exit was probably inevitable, he does admit that he wishes he had gotten help while he was still on the show. He says that getting help would have allowed him to relax into his role a little more, saying, “Because now, when I look back, all I see is what an impossible gift that was.”

3/9 How Did Steve Address Fans Directly?

For the 25th anniversary of Blue’s Clues, Steve addressed fans through Nick Jr.’s social media accounts, where he talked to old fans about his departure for the first time. In character, he said, “You remember how when we were younger, we used to run around and hang out with Blue … and then I left and we didn’t see each other for a really long time? Can we just talk about that? Because I realize that was kind of abrupt.”

He went on to discuss some joys and hardships of college and adulthood before ending the clip by saying, “I just wanted to say, I never forgot you. Ever.” The video went viral as now-adult fans responded to the post so positively, with 1.9 million likes and sentiments that this was closure they didn’t know they needed.

Related: From Robin Williams’ Son to Jamie Foxx’s Daughter, Celebrity Kids Are Opening Up About Mental Health Struggles

2/9 What Has The Show Become Since?

A revival of the show, called Blue’s Clues & You!, aired in 2019 on Nickelodeon. The host of the show is Josh Dela Cruz as Josh, who is the cousin of Steve and Joe from the show’s original series. Steve and Joe also have some recurring parts in the new series.

Steve said, “I’ve never enjoyed being Steve more than I do now. I get to wear a trench coat. It’s like Grover-meets-Columbo — a clown character. That’s really freeing somehow.” Steve has actually been directing, writing, producing, and guest starring in the revival seriessince its 2019 debut, though many old fans of the original show were unaware of this before the video of Steve’s explanation went viral.

Reflecting on his life now and his past role, Steve said, “It’s very on brand for me to not have the answers. Steve was the guy who needed you. He doesn’t appear like a role model. He had difficulty differentiating between shapes and colors.” He went on to conclude, “But Steve became my role model. Because he was not afraid to ask for help.”

1/9 What Is Steve Doing Now?

After leaving the show, Steve went on to find some success in his music career. And now, as mentioned, Steve also has some recurring parts in the new Blue’s Clues & You revival show.

Steve has also found meaning in traveling to colleges and speaking to students about mental health. He shares with them what helped him work on his own well-being, and it makes perfect sense that Steve is still teaching the kids that grew up learning from him on Blue’s Clues.

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