Every afternoon, the mail seems to arrive at my house just as I’m pulling in the driveway with a carful of kids after school. Like the cool mom I am, I almost always start singing . . .
Here’s the mail, it never fails,
It makes me wanna wag my tail.
When it comes I wanna wail . . .
I, like millions of other ’90s kids, grew up counting on Steve and his trusty sidekick Blue to find the clues and figure out the day’s problem with his handy dandy notebook. I used to watch Blue’s Clues with my little brother, who delighted in Steve’s endearing khakis-and-green-striped-shirt presence. (Who am I kidding, I did too.)
But then one day, Steve’s brother, Joe, showed up and Steve just . . . left. Poof. Gone. Off to college, he said reassuringly, with a wave and a smile as he hopped onto a waiting cartoon bus.
But kids everywhere were confused. What really happened to Steve?
It might have been the internet’s first conspiracy theory. Was he fired? He was rumored to be going bald, with producers worrying kids might not like it. Did he die? The possibility was morbid but plausible, given how he simply vanished from the entertainment world after Blue’s Clues.
For two decades, we’ve wondered.
And now, we have our answer.
In a video posted by Nick Jr. on social media for the 25th anniversary of Blue’s Clues, Steve—whose real name is Steve Burns—wearing his signature green striped polo, has a heart-to-heart with his kid-turned-grown-up viewers.
And gosh if it didn’t make me get all nostalgic and sappy . . . just have a watch:
“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?” Steve asks. “Can we just talk about that? Great.”
He goes on to say that he did, in fact, go to college, where he got to use his mind and take a step at a time, and now he’s doing things that he always really wanted to do.
Then, he turns his attention to us, his old friends on the other side of the screen.
“And look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time . . . it’s just so amazing, right? I mean we started out with clues, and now it’s student loans and jobs and families, and some of it has been kind of hard, you know? I know you know.”
Steve goes on to say he couldn’t have done any of what he’s accomplished without us and our help back then, which is still helping him now. And then, this:
“I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years, I never forgot you . . . ever.”
Is it dusty in here?! Who knew the Steve from our childhoods, a simpler time to be sure, resurfacing after all these years could hit me so hard in the feels? The internet, it seems, agrees:
Therapist: “How are you this week?”
Me: “Steve came back to Blues Clues and now I’m an emotional wreck.”
Therapist: *Pulls out handy dandy notebook* https://t.co/5v1ZgIjXjv
— Connor Dunning (@CDunningRC) September 7, 2021
steve from blues clues says the he’s proud of me bye pic.twitter.com/nCZrgKsZgY
— claudia 💋☀️ (@trashbutcutee) September 8, 2021
My daughter sent this tweet to me very emotional, and that got me emotional too! She LOVED Blues Clues (we both did).Here she is at her 3rd Birthday ( Blues Clues Theme) she's now a 3rd Year Med student! Thank you for being a positive part of my kids lives! pic.twitter.com/XfXlM7bDBc
— Terri BoraⓂ️ (@venee_b) September 7, 2021
I know the Steve message from Blues Clues today was a video for the masses, but it felt so personal
Things like that were never "just a show," they were bonds that we had as kids, and while we understand things will change, it's comforting to know that not everything does ❤ pic.twitter.com/uB55U08DUf
— Jambo 🌿 (@PlayWithJambo) September 8, 2021
when blues clues steve still calls me his friend after all these years pic.twitter.com/IfFgOqszlU
— chaz (@zooko7) September 7, 2021
I guess Nick Jr. knew Steve was the balm we all needed after the struggle that’s been the past 18 months. And he ends his video with a little self-confidence boost for the kid-turned-adult in all of us:
“You look great, by the way. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working.”
Same, Steve. Same.