Burns hosted the long-running children’s series on Nickelodeon from 1996 until 2002. However, the actor said in a recent interview with Variety that his upbeat demeanor during the time was all an act.
“I didn’t know it yet, but I was the happiest depressed person in North America,” the former host told the publication. “I was struggling with severe clinical depression the whole time I was on that show. 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,” he continued.
The animated series aired on Nickelodeon and became a huge success, even earning an Emmy nomination in 2001. It featured Steve solving puzzles alongside his dog Blue and relating with kids on their level.
But then Burns, who was just as important to fans as the blue cartoon dog, announced he was leaving for college and that his younger brother would take over hosting responsibilities.
“My strategy had been, ‘Hey, you got a great thing going, so just fight it!’ Turns out, you don’t fight depression; you collect it,” the actor told Variety. “After I left ‘Blue’s Clues,’ there was a long period of healing. It wasn’t until the death of my father that I really started to take things seriously, and my life became so much more manageable.”
“It made me think about things I hadn’t thought about, like legacy and the value of the things we’ve left behind,” he went on. “It forced me to reevaluate and take much more seriously my mental health. And New York City never was much good for my mental health.”
Burns recorded a video message in 2021 in honor of the show’s 25th anniversary. He’s also going to feature in the movie “Blue’s Big City Adventure,” which starts streaming on Paramount+ Friday.
— Nick Jr. (@nickjr) September 7, 2021
Meanwhile, “Blue’s Clues” got a makeover and a new host, but the latest version has come with some controversy. Instead of focusing on innocent content for preschoolers, the new version “Blue’s Clues & You” is infused with leftist ideology aimed at children.
A sing-a-long posted on their YouTube page in May 2021 featured an LGBT pride parade to celebrate Pride Month. Gay, non-binary, and transgender animals all march along while a drag queen sings, “Love is love is love, you see, and everyone should love proudly and we’ll all go marching in the big parade!”
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