There is a scene from a children's show many millennials still remember: the moment Steve Burns, dressed in his striped green shirt and khaki pants, picked up a large suitcase, walked out the door, and boarded an animated bus with a final wave to his "Blue's Clues" fans. The abrupt departure long went unexplained.
But on Tuesday night, Steve Burns posted an emotional video to the grown-up fans of the show he left behind.
Nick Jr. posted the video of Burns, dressed in his iconic striped shirt, with a simple caption: "So about that time Steve went off to college..." The video was posted in celebration of the show's 25th anniversary.
"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 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'...and we didn't see each other for like, a really long time?" Burns says in the video. "I realize that was kind of abrupt."
Burns left the children's show, which aired from 1996 to 2006, in 2002. At the time of his departure, he told viewers he was going to college. The new host, Joe, was said to be Steve's younger brother.
In the now-viral video, Burns tells fans his departure to college was "really challenging, but great, because I got to use my mind and take a step at a time," referencing on one of the show's songs.
Then he directly addresses the viewers who watched "Blue's Clues when they were children, commending them on their accomplishments as adults and thanking them for all the "help" they gave him searching for clues on the show.
"And then look at you and look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time," he says. "...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 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," he says in the video. " ...You look great by the way. Whatever it is you're doing, it's working."
Fans of the show, which is a ViacomCBS property, shared emotional responses to the video, thanking Burns and Blue, the canine titular character of the show, "for being a friend to all of us."
"Here I am, a full-grown adult, crying over this video," one person said. "Blue's Clues was my favorite show as a kid, I still remember watching it in my grandma's old house."
"You taught me kindness, creativity and friendship," another tweeted with a photo of them at a "Blue's Clues" themed birthday party and one of them at their graduation. "You taught me that I could grow up to be anything I wanted if I put my mind to it."
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