Original ‘Blue’s Clues’ host Steve Burns talks about 'abrupt' departure in emotional video

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Steve Burns, the original host for the popular children's show "Blue's Clues," broke his long-held silence this week.

Burns discussed his unexpected departure in 2002 from the show in a Nickelodeon Twitter video that quickly went viral. Turns out, the now-47-year-old opted to go to college instead of continuing on with his acting career.

"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.

“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.”

Burns hosted the show from 1996 to 2002, and was closely associated with its success in catering to preschool-aged kids. His departure and replacement by Donovan Patton as Steve's younger brother "Joe," caused speculation back in the early 2000s about where he had gone.

As a fan favorite of the show – he was nominated for a daytime Emmy in 2001 – Burns used his platform on the video to provide emotional closure and inspiration to former watchers of the show.

Steve (Steve Burns) invites young viewers to help him solve the day's puzzles, which are presented through clues from his energetic, animated puppy Blue on Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues."
Steve (Steve Burns) invites young viewers to help him solve the day's puzzles, which are presented through clues from his energetic, animated puppy Blue on Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues."

"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 in the video. "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.

"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. 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."

Burns closed his message with one last send-off to viewers: “You look great by the way. Whatever it is you’re doing, is working.”

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Blue's Clues' Steve Burns reveals why he left in emotional viral video