In a surprisingly emotional and tender turn, Steve stops by the Blue’s Clues house to celebrate 25 years of the show, as well as to have a heart-to-heart talk we never thought was needed until now.
Don’t you ever wonder what happens after the end? Some might not even give it much thought or at the very least don’t verbalize, but there must be a part of you that asks, okay, so what’s next? Yes, stories will continue, characters will move on, and the credits will roll until the rude awakening that is real life confronts you after the screen goes pitch black. And granted that there is a general resolve to the overarching narrative, some tangles and knots are just so persistent. Take the departure of Steve in Blue’s Clues for example. Despite it being a children’s show of the same nature as Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street, it was able to address his sudden exit so carefully and seamlessly that there was very little wiggle room to grieve once he hopped on the bus and left us with his brother Joe, Blue, and the rest of the fact-finding gang.
“I’ll never forget how you helped me find all those clues. You really are so smart, which reminds me, will you take good care of my brother Joe when I go to college?” Steve said in his last breaking-the-fourth-wall conversation in Blue’s Clues, leaving a beat for the audience to answer. “Great, because sometimes he needs a little help, kind of like me.”
Tenuous and tepid as it was, there wasn’t a direct so long, farewell, or goodbye to those who have grown up watching and joining Steve in his adventures in Blue’s Clues. He did say bye to everyone in the house though, but otherwise, he just upped and hopped on the bus, never to be heard from again—until today that is.
While the world of Blue’s Clues carried on after his abrupt leaving, rumors and conspiracy theories chased after Steve Burns, the OG host of the enduring and award-winning educational and developmental children’s show on Nick Jr. Far from the car crash and drug overdose-related death that was reported on one too many occasion, he simply stepped away from the shadow of mammoth success was the show to do make music among other things, popping in a few times, including special episodes the premiere of the current version, Blue’s Clues & You!
Marking a significant milestone, Steve once again visits the Blue’s Clues house, and together with Joe and the current host, master of the Thinking chair, and handler of Handy Dandy Notebook, Joshua Dela Cruz (who is Filipino-American, by the way), to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary. If last week’s union of three generations shook social media to its nostalgic core with a TikTok video of them just saying “hi,” the mood was much more emotional with Steve’s tender solo spot on Twitter.
“Hi, you got a second?” Steve asks, austere and apologetic, his tone a little more somber than we’re used to hearing when he would freak out over the mail or at the sight of a clue. “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 asks. “And then one day, I was like, ‘Oh hey, guess what? Big news…I’m leaving 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.”
Of Clues, College, And Closure
In this very honest and shockingly serious turn, Steve Burns doesn’t glaze over what has happened over the years since heading to college, or in real life for that matter, which is central to Blue’s Clues. Talking to viewers who are now navigating lives as adults with their own clue-finding adventures, in the same green striped jumper no less, this proved to be the conversation of closure that didn’t was actually necessary, especially since come to think of it, there was never really that opportunity to grieve that loss.
“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,” he explains. “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? 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.”
From TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, a veritable cross-section of the show’s encompassing audience, emotions were at a high, with many declarations of tears, gratitude, and eternal love for Steve, Blue’s Clues, and all the time spent together for years. “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,” he continues. “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.”
Like It’s 1996
You see, even without us realizing it, we unconsciously have been helping each other go through life, without clues most of the time. But equipped with skills and smarts acquired and honed with Steve in Blue’s Clues, we are able to get through our adventures.
Before saying goodbye again, for now at least, Steve winds back and says, this time with more cheer coloring his comforting voice, “You look great by the way. Whatever it is you’re doing, is working.”
And just like it has in 1996, the So Long song rings very true: “With me and you, and my dog Blue, we can do anything that we wanna do.” Anything and everything, Steve.