On September 8, 2021, millennials across the nation found a forgotten face flooding their social media feeds: Steve from Blue’s Clues. It had been years since we last saw the original Blue’s Clues host, but he was just as we remembered. There he was—the Steve Burns—in his signature green striped shirt and all.
In the viral video posted to Nick Jr.’s Twitter account, the 48-year-old Nickelodeon alum said, "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? 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?"
Steve then went on to give the viewers a heartfelt 'thank you,' and it seriously pulled on our heartstrings.
"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," he said.
But where was Steve for the last 20 years? And why, all of a sudden, was he back? Well, if you've asked yourself, "What ever happened to Steve from Blue's Clues?"—don’t worry, we’ve found all the clues and figured it out on PureWow's nostalgic pop culture podcast, 'What Ever Happened To...?'—where we come together to relive pop culture history and uncover what became of the celebrities and trends that defined our adolescence. So without further ado, here's the story.
Steve Burns's Rise to Fame
Steve Burns grew up in Pennsylvania. He played in bands throughout high school and college, so he’s always had entertaining in his blood. He studied theater under an acting scholarship at DeSales University, and that’s where he got discovered by an agent. In his early career, Steve did voiceover work and landed some small acting gigs. Then, in 1995, he auditioned for the host of Blue’s Clues—but he thought it was just another voiceover role.
"I never for one second in my life, until that moment, considered being on children’s television. Not for a second. It never crossed my mind. If I had known that that audition was not a voiceover audition, I don’t know if I’d gone," Steve said on his recent speaking tour.
Behind the scenes, Steve was the quintessential 20-something Brooklyn guy. He was very much aware that the character he played on TV was silly and juvenile, but he wasn’t afraid to lean into it—for the show at least.
"Nobody could be that guy. He wouldn't last 30 seconds in New York City," Steve joked in a 1999 interview with The New York Times.
At Blue’s Clue’s peak popularity, Steve became a total superstar—but not the kind that gets stopped on the street or swarmed by paparazzi. He was famous enough, however, to be named one of People’s most eligible bachelors in 2000.
Why did Steve leave Blue's Clues?
When Steve left the show, his last episode was called "Steve Goes to College"—but apparently, that explanation wasn’t exciting enough for the public. Strange rumors of his mysterious demise started to circulate. One said he died of a drug overdose, another claimed he was killed in a car crash.
Steve seems pretty good natured about it, though—his Instagram handle is @SteveBurnsIsAlive. He also has an IG Stories highlight called “Proof of Life,” just to remind the internet he’s still kickin'.
Despite what happened to his character, real-life Steve did not leave the show for his education.
"I didn’t actually go to college when I departed Blue’s Clues. That was not literal. I had already been to college. I left and pursued a music career," Steve told Javelina Broadcast Network.
He told HuffPost in 2016, "I was getting older; I was losing my hair; a lot of the original gangsters on the show, like the people who created it, were all moving on to other careers. It just felt like time."
Totally understandable, Steve. We forgive you.
What did Steve do after Blue's Clues?
Voiceover has been Steve’s main job for the last 25 years. From 2006 to 2010, Steve narrated the interactive children's show Roll Play for Treehouse TV. But he’s also done some acting; in 2007, he was in the horror-comedy film Netherbeast Incorporated.
He’s had quite the music career, too. Shortly after he left Blue's Clues, in 2003, Steve dropped his first album called Songs for Dustmites. He worked on it with his friend Steven Drozd from The Flaming Lips, one of his favorite bands. In fact, the Stevens seem to be showbiz besties.
He even went on tour with the band and appeared in their 2008 science fiction film, Christmas on Mars, as an astronaut. He also started a band called Steve Burns and the Struggle, that Drozd was in.
Burns and Drozd collaborated on a children’s album called Foreverywhere under the name STEVENSTEVEN, which came out in 2016. They even made an audio book version on Audible.
Steve's song "Mighty Little Man" is used as the opening theme for the show Young Sheldon—he’s even been in a couple episodes. He also made a guest appearance on actor and musician Tim Kubart’s 2018 kids' album called Building Blocks.
On top of all that, Steve also works on Blue’s Clues & You, the Nickelodeon revival series that came out in 2019. He writes, directs and mentors the new host, Joshua Dela Cruz. Steve even appears in the show from time to time, which is quite the treat for millennial parents with little Nickelodeon-watchers.
For the Blue’s Clues 25th Anniversary, Steve reunited with Josh and former Blue's Clues host Donovan Patton for a song called "You Can’t Spell Blue Without You." They performed it on a float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021, and it was a truly heartwarming moment.
Paramount has announced a movie coming in 2022. It's titled Blue's Big City Adventure and will star all three Blue’s Clues hosts.
So, that’s what ever happened to Steve from Blue’s Clues! Don’t worry, he’s doing fine.
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