Steve from Blue’s Clues offers sweet mental health check-in for 90’s kids


Amid the many allegations made in the four-part documentary series Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, one Nickelodeon star has offered a mental health check-in for children of the late 1990s and mid-2000s.

Steve Burns – who hosted the first four seasons of the Nickelodeon animated series Blue’s Clues – recently shared a video of himself to TikTok, where he provided a platform for grown-up fans of the children’s show to vent their frustrations.

Throughout his tenure as “Steve” from 1996 to 2002, the human host would help his audience find clues with a blue dog named Blue. Burns departed the series, which ended in 2006, in an episode titled “Steve Goes to College,” and was replaced by Donovan Patton as “Joe”.

In a video shared with his 1.8m TikTok followers, the original Blue’s Clues actor shared a silent clip of himself demonstrating active listening skills. “Hey, I’m checking in,” he began the emotional video. Burns then gestured to the camera, seemingly to allow viewers to say what was on their minds.

“Tell me, what’s going on?” he asked.

Burns remained silent for nearly one full minute, as if he was listening to his fans in person. He then nodded his head, quietly saying: “Okay.”

At the end of the clip, Burns added: “Alright, well. It’s good to hear from you. You look great, by the way.”

Since it was posted one day ago, his video has already received three million views on the platform. Following the recent allegations made by former show writers and child actors about the toxic work environment on Nickelodeon sitcoms, many of them led by executive producer Dan Schneider, former fans of the network saw Burns’ video as an opportunity to share how disheartened they’ve felt since the docuseries was released earlier this week.

“After the Nickelodeon documentary, Steve, all I need is my Blue’s Clues to save whatever is left of this childhood I once had,” one TikToker user commented under his video.

“I feel like he knew that the Nickelodeon fans needed this after the documentary came out,” another person claimed. “And this is the best response: ‘How are you? Are you okay?’”

“When did Steve become our Nickelodeon therapist?” another fan jokingly asked, while someone else pointed out: “Steve checking up on the now grown-up kids he left behind is another level of full circle moment.”

This isn’t the first time that Burns has shared a poignant message and captured the hearts of many former Blue’s Clues viewers. Back in 2021, the actor celebrated the 25th anniversary of Blue’s Clues by explaining why he left the show and what he learned while he was away.

“Hi, you got a second?” he said in the video, wearing a green-striped collared shirt similar to the one he wore on the show. “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, this is 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?”

In the two-minute clip, Burns acknowledged that his departure from the show was “abrupt” but explained that the opportunity allowed him to pursue the things that he’s always wanted to do. However, the former Blue’s Clues host also recognised all the accomplishments that his fans have made since the series ended.

“Look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time,” Burns said. “And it’s just, it’s just so amazing, right? 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.

“And I wanted to tell you that I really couldn’t have done all of that without your help.”

Burns concluded the sentimental message to his fans: “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.”

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which began streaming in the US on 17 March, saw former Nickelodeon star Drake Bell come forward with his alleged sexual abuse, which he says he suffered aged 15. The Drake & Josh actor alleged that he was a victim of abuse at the hands of Brian Peck, who worked as a dialogue coach on Nickelodeon’s All That and The Amanda Show.

Since then, Nickelodeon executive producer Schneider has spoken out about the claims made in the documentary. Schneider – who parted ways with the network in 2018 – acknowledged that watching the documentary was “very difficult” as he faced his “past behaviours – some of which are embarrassing and that I regret”.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is currently streaming on Max in the US. It will premiere on Discovery+ in the UK on 25 March.

If you are a child and you need help because something has happened to you, you can call the NSPCC free of charge on 0800 1111. You can also call the NSPCC if you are an adult and you are worried about a child, on 0808 800 5000. The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (Napac) offers support for adults on 0808 801 0331.



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