Why Is Everyone Freaking Out About ‘Blue’s Clues’ Host Steve?

Right here’s the factor we don’t speak about after we speak about flip of the millennium music.

Within the late ’90s and early 2000s, sure we had Spice Girls and Hanson. It was the golden age of boy bands—ask me if I favor NSYNC or Backstreet Boys and prepare to see a flawless recreation of Meryl Streep’s efficiency in Sophie’s Alternative. Britney and Christina had been about to return out, and so, finally, would I. It was the age of TRL, and you can like Future’s Baby, Child Rock, Korn, Mandy Moore, DMX, and Religion Hill all on the similar time.

However the bops that actually caught with us? These had been from Blue’s Clues.

In our [redacted] years on this Earth, we have now been on many dance flooring at varied phases of inebriation, having out-of-body experiences as, more than likely, a Robyn or ABBA tune performs. However attempt to inform me there has ever been a extra euphoric music occasion than being in your lounge whereas your TV was programmed to Nickelodeon and also you’ve simply “figured out Blue’s clues.”

Steve is singing. That animated cartoon canine is scampering across the display screen. You’ve entered a brand new state of consciousness as you dance alongside. Life was good. And may we speak about the mail song? Attempt to inform me that you simply’ve gone to your mailbox as soon as within the final 20 years with out singing in your head, “Right here’s the mail / it by no means fails / it makes you wish to wag your tail…” (Don’t even get me began on the Pondering Chair.)

Children’ reveals have a means of permeating mainstream tradition. Point out Teletubbies, Arthur, Wishbone, The Massive Comfortable Sofa, or Zoboomafoo, and brace for a millennial’s monologue of nostalgia. Over time, phenomena like SpongeBob Squarepants, Franklin, Bob the Builder, and, currently, Paw Patrol or Bluey puncture the zeitgeist exterior of their meant pre-school viewers.

The humorous factor about reveals like these is that individuals don’t simply have recognition or recollections related to them, however a fierce sense of possession. They’re unbreakably tethered to formative experiences both that they had or watched somebody near them—a baby, a sibling, a niece or nephew—have. In that means, they nearly rework into non secular textual content. That’s the reason everybody completely misplaced their rattling minds over Blue’s Clues this week… and why it form of irritated me.

Right here’s the CliffsNotes for the uninitiated. Blue’s Clues is a youngsters’s present that launched on Nickelodeon in 1996 and have become a type of insane hits the place shopping for toys themed to it sparked fistfights at Wal-Mart over the vacations.

The one human character was a person named Steve, performed by Steve Burns, who was boyishly good-looking and wore a green-striped long-sleeved polo (the sort it might take greater than a decade for me to appreciate I couldn’t pull off). His animated canine, Blue, would depart clues all through his home about what adventures she (Blue is a lady, and the controversy over which may be the very best argument towards gendering colours) was stepping into that day.

Steve would lead the viewers by his discovery of the clues, sometimes involving academic puzzles, after which sing a little bit bit and wave goodbye.

By 2002, Blue’s Clues was attracting about 13.7 million viewers every week, which, for context, is about what The Massive Bang Principle was getting in its remaining season. Amidst all that success, Burns abruptly left the present, setting off, along with a worldwide viewers of abandonment points, a vicious rumor mill about his eventual doom and demise that metastasized within the age of the web and on-line gossip.

There was speak that Steve embodied the White Man cliché: that he left to pursue a profession in music. Darker whispers adopted that he was hooked on heroin and had really died of an overdose. When he was noticed in public once more, folks thought he was nonetheless useless however then changed by a lookalike to cowl it up. It’s loopy shit. He finally appeared on The Rosie O’Donnell Present to dispel the rumors.

Blue’s Clues continued on, with the character of Steve’s youthful brother Joe, performed by Donovan Patton, taking on. A 2019 revival, known as Blue’s Clues & You! stars Filipino-American entertainer and mannequin Joshua Dela Cruz, who’s extraordinarily charming and an absolute snack. (You’re welcome.) All of this backstory issues as a result of the unique Steve himself returned this week.

In a video posted to Nick Jr.’s Twitter account for the present’s twenty fifth anniversary, Burns returned as Steve to handle the viewers. Not the present viewers, however the viewers of all these years in the past, the people who find themselves now all grown up and questioned—even when maliciously—what had occurred to him. As it’s when one thing detonates a grenade within the candy spot of millennial nostalgia, the web misplaced its rattling thoughts.

“You bear in mind how after we had been youthful, we used to run round and hang around with Blue and discover clues and speak to Mr. Salt and freak out in regards to the mail and do all of the enjoyable stuff?” he stated. “After which at some point, I used to be like, ‘Oh hey, guess what? Massive information, I’m leaving. Right here’s my brother Joe, he’s your new finest buddy,’ after which I received on a bus and I left and we didn’t see one another for like a extremely very long time? Can we simply speak about that? Nice. As a result of I understand that was form of abrupt.”

It was like an absentee father apologizing after a long time of neglect. Burns was dressed as Steve, and defined in character that he had gone off to varsity, commiserating with the viewers over what grown-up life was like. “I imply, we began out with clues and now, it’s what? Pupil loans and jobs and households? And a few of it has been form of laborious, you realize? I do know you realize.”

The entire thing was so candy, and naturally folks felt emotional and validated by it. However the unusual half was how rapidly it escalated from “this very good web factor” to a hysterical information story.

“However the unusual half was how rapidly it escalated from “this very good web factor” to a hysterical information story…”

Main publications began to report the video as truth, that Burns had returned from a long time of silence to clear up the thriller of what occurred by explaining that he went to varsity. However the factor is: Burns was by no means silent, and he didn’t depart to go to varsity. This video was him in character as Steve, explaining Steve’s story. It isn’t—and was by no means—his personal.

Burns gave many interviews through the years explaining why he left Blue’s Clues. Merely put, he was over it. He by no means meant to be a profession youngsters’s entertainer. He was getting older. It felt like the suitable time to go.

“I knew I wasn’t going to be doing youngsters’s tv all my life, principally as a result of I refused to lose my hair on a children’ TV present, and it was occurring, quick,” he stated on the time. (He shaved his head the day after his remaining present. Requested if it was a rebellious assertion, he replied, “Sure, the assertion is, ‘We’ve male sample baldness.’”)

In a 2016 interview, he reiterated, “I left the present as a result of it was simply merely time to go. I used to be just about enjoying a boyish, older-brotherish form of character on the present. I used to be getting older; I used to be dropping my hair; plenty of the unique folks on the present, just like the individuals who created it, had been all shifting on to different careers. It simply felt like time. I simply had a intestine feeling prefer it was time to go.”

I suppose I’m simply marveling at how rapidly all of us took a candy and nostalgic—and scripted—phase and took it at face worth as real-life truth. It will be like, I don’t know, assuming no matter plotline Grace Adler had on the Will & Grace revival was Debra Messing’s precise life.

Left unaddressed, I suppose, was that within the years since Steve went to varsity we turned knee-jerk on-line reactionists who forgot in regards to the necessity of following all of the clues and interesting in crucial pondering (perhaps even in a Pondering Chair) earlier than leaping to conclusions.

The reality is that I used to be barely too outdated for Blue’s Clues in its heyday, however my little brother is sort of a decade youthful than me. It’s an underreported blast to have a sibling that younger. Whereas all your mates and classmates are obsessive about being older and performing maturity, you get to unabashedly faucet into child issues once more, below the guise of entertaining your sibling. You’re additionally at an age the place you possibly can witness and respect how good your dad and mom are at being dad and mom. Plus, you get to look at Blue’s Clues.

That is to say that I’ve cherished having the present and Steve again within the zeitgeist this week. However as a purist, I couldn’t let the misinformation slide! Possibly we’re all in a state the place we’re determined for the consolation of fictionalized nostalgia, to the extent that we manifest it as actual life. I get that. Particularly now when issues are so complicated, we collect the details and put them in our notebooks. However now what will we do? | Why Is Everybody Freaking Out About ‘Blue’s Clues’ Host Steve?


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