“Blue’s Clues” Host Steve Burns Just Revealed He Almost Wasn’t The Face Of Your Childhood As Nickelodeon Bosses Were Torn Between Him And A “Conventionally Handsome” Man

Steve also admitted that he initially dreamed of having a career like Al Pacino, and only became a kids' TV favorite through “desperation.”

Most millennials can’t think of a better representative of their childhood than Steve Burns, the human presenter of the animated Nickelodeon series Blue’s Clues, which he hosted from its premiere in 1996 until 2002.

Steve from Blue's Clues stands in a room with the animated character Blue and a thinking chair

"I wanted to be a dangerous little short guy actor from the '70s, like Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman," he explained. "You know, that's what I came to New York to do."

Steve Burns

"I remember getting way too close to the camera and pausing until it felt weird,” he recalled. “And then I paused a little longer. Right? And really tried to do that listening thing.”

Steve Burns

He went on to admit: “I'd love to say that I was just a forward-thinking and insightful, brilliant actor, but it had nothing to do with anything like that. It was just desperation.”

Steve Burns on Blue's Clues

Speaking to Variety in 2022, Steve explained: “It was my job to be utterly and completely full of joy and wonder at all times, and that became impossible. I was always able to dig and find something that felt authentic to me that was good enough to be on the show, but after years and years of going to the well without replenishing it, there was a cost."

Steve Burns

In the video, Steve mimicked the way that he would host Blue’s Clues more than 20 years earlier as he asked: “Hey, I’m checking in. Tell me, what’s going on?” before sitting in silence for almost a minute as he gave followers a safe space to offload their feelings.

Steve Burns
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