It's disheartening when a beloved children's show host departs from a franchise. For Nick Jr. viewers, Blue's Clues was the show to watch between 1996 and 2003. The trademark of the program wasn't its iconic mascot, or its ebullient host, Steve Burns. It was one of the first programs to feature ... silence. Giving kids multiple seconds of dead air to give their answers. Well, OK, Steve definitely had a lot to do with the show's success, so where is he now?
What's Steve from 'Blues Clues' up to now?
There have been a lot of rumors over the years about Steve post his departure from the popular Nickelodeon show. Some claimed he died of a heroin overdose; some said he died in a car crash, and others speculated he was pursuing a career in music.
As Steve tells it, however, it was none of those reasons. He felt the need to call it quits because he "just had a gut feeling it was time to go." Although he says he loved entertaining children, he never wanted his entire acting career to be dedicated to children's TV. That, coupled with the fact that he was losing his hair, made him feel like it was time for him to exit the program.
He ended up shaving his head after resigning as the face of Blue's Clues, something he had wanted to do since quite a while before the series ended, but the production company was adamantly against it.
Donovan Patton would go on to replace Steve, playing his younger brother, "Joe." And then years later, Joshua Dela Cruz would come on as "Josh," the cousin of Steve and Joe. The former hosts would actually join Joshua for his big-screen debut, welcoming the new talent.
Interestingly enough, Steve was involved with the casting process for the reboot, Blue's Clues & You!, and helped select Joshua. He even gave the new talent some words of advice and encouraged him to make the role his own and not worry about attempting to emulate what he and Donovan had done previously.
Steve recently appeared in a special video for the show's 25th anniversary.
It has been nearly two decades since Steve was the star of Blues Clues, but the time gone by hasn't taken away from his star power in the show's universe. For its 25th anniversary, Nick Jr. enlisted the former star for a recap video that mentions his impromptu departure from the program in the nicest way possible.
Clad in his iconic green striped shirt and matching hat, Steve talked about why he left Blues Clues and gave some words of wisdom to the original show's fans, many of whom are all grown up now.
"One day, I was like, 'Oh hey, guess what? Big news. I'm leaving!' " he said in the first few seconds of the video, adding, "Can we just talk about that?"
Steve addressed the abruptness of his exit but noted that it was all for the better. "Now, I literally am doing many of the things that I wanted to do. And then look at you! And look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time! It's just so amazing, right?"
He also thanked his fans for their support, "I wanted to tell you that I really couldn't have done all of that without your help. 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."
In conclusion, Steve said, "after all these years, I never forgot you ... ever. And I'm super glad we're still friends."
The emotional video has been viewed almost 20 million times on Twitter.
So, what exactly did Steve do following his exit from the show?
Although he's a musician, he didn't leave the program exclusively to pursue a career in it. He compiled music for his debut album, Song for Dustmites. After debuting 11 tracks on his website, he wanted to work on the album some more and enlisted the help of Steven Drozd from The Flaming Lips to assist with musical arrangements and production of the album.
His track, "Mighty Little Man," was actually used for the theme song of Young Sheldon, which is coincidentally his most recent acting credit, where he plays Nathan, a ginormous Star Trek geek.
Steve reportedly also played a large role in the production of Blues Clues during his tenure with the program, and he often discussed how "maddening" it was to act in front of the blue screen in the show's earlier days.
The actor seems to have taken rumors of his death with a bit of humor, even naming his Instagram account "Steve Burns Alive." He went on The Rosie O' Donnell Show to address the myths about his passing in order to assure kids all over that he was still very much alive and doing well.
And he's a pretty decent photographer too, something you'll be able to see for yourself if you check out his Instagram account.