If you were a very young kid in the late ‘90s or the early aughts, there’s a chance you you’re a massive fan of Steve Burns. He was the original host of Nick Jr.’s Blue’s Clues, where he led preschoolers through a series of mysteries with the help of his titular blue dog. You may also remember that he left in 2002, after four seasons, replaced by Donovan Patton. No doubt the departure was devastating for many, who’d come to love Burns’ wide-eyed, earnest yet goofy mien as much as his animated canine costar. And nearly 20 years later, Burns released a video, as suddenly as he departed so long ago, hoping to give fans some closure.
So about that time Steve went off to college… #BluesClues25 pic.twitter.com/O8NOM2eRjy
— Nick Jr. (@nickjr) September 7, 2021
The video finds Burns — now 47, bald under a baseball hat, yet still boyishly charming — addressing his now also grown-up fans directly. “You got a second?” he says, before reminding viewers about how they all used to “run around and hang out with Blue and find clues and talk to Mr. Salt and freak out about the mail and do all sorts of fun stuff.” He also addresses how he suddenly left and they didn’t see each other “for like a really long time.”
Burns has repeatedly addressed why he left: He went to college! Because he was that age and someone in the prime of his life can’t be doing shows for preschoolers for forever. But he still feels bad. In the video he admits his departure, in hindsight, was “kind of abrupt,” which he says was “really challenging but great, because I got to use my mind and take one step at a time.” It also allowed him, he says, to do all the things he’s doing now.
Throughout the video, Burns retains the mien of a pre-school teacher, talking directly, in simple terms, as though they were still kids at heart. He even tries to cushion the blow of his admission by pointing out that those watching, too, have likely done a lot since Blue’s Clues debuted 25 years ago. “Look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time,” Burns says. “It’s just…it’s just amazing, right? I mean, we started out with clues, and now it’s what? Student loans, and jobs, and families.” (Although perhaps one of those, at least, may not be something worth celebrating.)
When the video dropped, especially following a hellish pre-Labor Day weekend week that saw weather disasters and multiple nightmarish laws enacted in Texas, it couldn’t help but leave Generation Blue’s Clues eating their feelings.
me: i HATE parasocial relationships!!! 🙅🏽♀️🙅🏽♀️🙅🏽♀️
steve from blues clues: i never forgot you 🥺🐶💙
— raegan (@raegarooni) September 7, 2021
far too old to be sobbing over blues clues and yet…here i am pic.twitter.com/Bw0jeNiSx5
— 💫Kiara💫 (@kiaraspeaks) September 7, 2021
Blues Clues Steve is proud of me and says i still look good so you can't tell me SHIT for the rest of the week
— Lil Nas Ash (@adashtra) September 7, 2021
Me: Parasocial relationships can be extremely problematic.
Steve from Blues Clues tells me he's proud of me: pic.twitter.com/fiCy5GNuGN
— Deej Storer (@DnDeej) September 7, 2021
This made me really emotional.
Blues Clues was such a big part of my childhood so every time I see Steve I kinda breakdown a little bit. 🥲💙#BluesClues25 https://t.co/xRkM84kcIt
— rayyy lmao (@RayNarvaezJr) September 7, 2021
Wait, why is everyone crying over blues clues?
*two minutes and two seconds later* pic.twitter.com/IXf7awN806
— ONeillJones is tired (@ONeillJones) September 7, 2021
Me when I saw Steve message from Blues Clues trending. pic.twitter.com/yfznJ5OqoA
— ClockOutWars (@clockoutwars) September 7, 2021
Opening up the Blues Clues trend and Steve telling us he’d never forgotten us had all of our asses like this pic.twitter.com/Vu5JA5pIOC
— tangerine (@arandomtangy) September 7, 2021
Therapist: “How are you this week?”
Me: “Steve came back to Blues Clues and now I’m an emotional wreck.”
Therapist: *Pulls out handy dandy notebook* https://t.co/5v1ZgIjXjv
— Connor Dunning (@CDunning929) September 7, 2021
Some were moved by proxy.
❤️ Steve. My eldest was crushed when he left the show. I got to work with Steve briefly recently and it was a real kick. https://t.co/1R06UZFLga
— Alex Winter (@Winter) September 8, 2021
And a lot of people did, indeed, find some closure.
THIS IS THE CLOSURE I NEEDED. BLUES CLUES WAS MY LIFE!! https://t.co/CBTTVCJcCB
— Dr. Raven the Science Maven (@ravenscimaven) September 7, 2021
I didn’t even know I needed Blues Clues closure until now. https://t.co/UJGnnto11i
— Virginia’s Very Own (@Dvrryl2times) September 7, 2021
My abandonment issues aren’t from my father they’re from Blues clues when Steve left for college
— astro bully angie (@teaxtarot) September 7, 2021
Blue’s Clues debuted in 1996 and lasted until 2004. It was rebooted as Blues Clues & You! In 2019. You can watch Burns’ new video above.
(Via TV Line)