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Why Did Steve Leave Blues Clues?

The actor explains his abrupt departure.

Remember the good old days in the ’90s when our favorite teacher Steve Burns and his animated dog Blue used to find fun ways to have us look for clues on our TV screens in Nick Jr.’s children’s show Blue’s Clues? Only for Steve to leave us for no reason in 2002 with his brother Joe? Not to say Joe was bad or anything, but honestly, the show wasn’t quite the same after Steve left. Now over twenty years have gone by, and with the new host Josh Dela Cruz recently celebrating the series’ 25th anniversary, the original host made a brief return to the series via Twitter to address his sudden departure.

In a video posted to Nick Jr.’s Twitter account, the first Blue’s Clues host once again adorned his famous green shirt and hat that he wore during his time on the show to give fans a heartfelt message.

“You remember how when we were younger, we 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 the fun stuff?” Burns said. “And then one day, I was like, ‘Oh hey, guess what? Big news, I’m leaving. Here’s my brother Joe, he’s your new best friend,’ and then I got on a bus and I left, and we didn’t see each other for like a really long time? Can we just talk about that? Because I realize that was kind of abrupt.”

Still, in character, Burns continues to explain to the former Blue Clues viewers–now all grown up–why he left the show.

“I just kinda got up and went to college. And that was really challenging by the way, but great because I got to use my mind and take a step at a time and now I literally am doing many of the things that I wanted to do.”

To be honest, the guy had been on the show for a long time. Since the series premiere in 1995, Burns had hosted about 100 episodes before leaving in 2002.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be doing children’s television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid’s TV show, and it was happening, fast,” he explained in the 2006 special, Behind The Clues: 10 Years With Blue

After consistent gruelling days of filming in front of a green screen, it can certainly take a toll on a young actor.  So it was only natural for him to grow up and move on to more “grown-up” ventures, right?

I mean, wasn’t it the same for all of us? Eventually, we had to move on to focus on the more serious things in life so we could be prepared to start raising our own children, and since then, adulthood’s been one nerve-wracking moment after the next.

Things got wet and blurry when Burns’ message took an emotional turn.

“And then look at you, and look at all you have done, and all you have accomplished in all that time. And it’s just, it’s just so amazing, right?” Burns said. “I mean, we started out with clues, and now, it’s what? Student loans, and jobs and families? And some of it has been kind of hard, you know? I know you know.”

Yeah, we do know, Steve. We really do.

Forever grateful for the reception during his time on the show, Burns would continue:

“I wanted to tell you that I really couldn’t have done all of that without your help. And in fact, all the help that you helped me with when we were younger is still helping me today, right now. And that’s super cool,” Burns said. “I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years, I never forgot you. Ever. And I’m super glad we’re still friends.”

Of course, true to Blues Clues fashion, the iconic host would end the message with some words of encouragement.

“You look great by the way. Whatever it is you’re doing, is working.”

After reminding us of the harrowing journey we’ve taken through this thing called life – especially these past few years – I’m not going to lie, Steve…we really needed to hear that. So, thanks. From the bottom of our hearts, we’re glad you’re still our friend too.

About the author

Nathan Donkor