Back in 1996 Nickelodeon started a half-hour TV show for pre-school viewers that ended taking audiences of other age groups and practically the rest of the world by storm. In its animated house set, the live-action host is set upon by his pet, an animated dog named Blue, to solve a simultaneously simple yet challenging puzzle regarding a particular subject or an activity that she wants to do. By marking objects around the animated set with her paw prints, Blue spurs her owner – and the viewers – to figure out what’s on her mind by deducing what the marked “clues” mean when put together. And this is done with more animated characters, mini-puzzle games, dancing and singing. You don’t need a Thinking Chair to realize that I’m talking here about “Blue’s Clues”.
The show’s first host was Steve Burns, playing a fictionalized version of him. In the six years that he and Blue went on clue-hunting and puzzle-thinking, he has touched the hearts of his audiences with his winningly engaging personality. Come 2002 however, Burns left the show and was replaced by Donovan Patton who portrays Joe, brother of the Steve character. For some time since, the reason for Burns’ departure hasn’t been made quite clear. Eventually the Huffington Post staff went and did a little searching of their own for clues, marked by Blue or otherwise. Their article on Thursday December 15 finally sheds some light on the matter, from Steve himself.
That fact alone debunks one of the top stories for him dropping out of “Blue’s Clues”, the rumor that he had died. Causes of his supposed demise were plenty, from a traffic accident to a drug overdose (not kid-friendly). Burns has debunked it with his mere presence in a Huff Post interview, and his Twitter name is @SteveBurnsAlive just to drive that point home. It therefore brings us to the second most-parroted reason: Burns resigned as host to focus on a music career. Granted he is a musician and recording artist. There’s also the fact that as part of his image he had shaved his head bald (as seen in some of his music videos), and he supposedly remarked in a “Blue’s Clues” 10 th Anniversary Special that he felt a bald host didn’t fit the aesthetics of a show for early childhood. That’s all reasonable, but not quite.
What Burns tells as his actual reason however is more poignant: He was getting old, and his aging (and hair loss) was becoming more apparent in his last appearances. So it was less of a resignation and more of a retirement; that Burns felt that it was his time to move on from playing Steve and pass on the torch. It’s sad, yet acceptable. Best wishes then, Steve.
You may dance the “We just figured out Blue’s Clues” jig now.
Photo Credit to http://guff.com/