Steve Burns, original host of Blue's Clues, marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of the beloved Nickelodeon series with a heartwarming message for fans—and an explanation for his abrupt departure in 2002. In a video posted on the Nick Jr. Twitter account, Burns, wearing the outfit he wore as host, explained that his character Steve had left to go to college, Variety reports. "You remember how when we were younger, we used to run around and hang out with Blue and find clues ... and do all the fun stuff?" he said. "And then one day, I was like, 'Oh hey, guess what? Big news, I'm leaving. Here's 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?"
"I just kind got up and went to college," Burns said, in character as Steve." And that was really challenging by the way, but great because I got to use my mind and take a step at a time." His sudden departure from the show sparked rumors that he had died in a car accident or from an overdose, Variety notes. In a 2016 interview, Burns, who released an album after leaving the show, said he had felt it was "just simply time to go." Since leaving, the 47-year-old has also had other acting roles and worked as a producer.
"And then look at you, and look at all you have done, and all you have accomplished in all that time. And it’s just, it’s just so amazing, right?” Burns told fans in the video. "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."
The next part of his message left some fans in tears, CNN reports. "I wanted to tell you that I really couldn't have done all of that without your help and in fact, all the help that you helped me with when we were younger is still helping me today, right now. And that's super cool," Burns said. "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." One fan tweeted: "I didn’t even know I needed Blues Clues closure until now." (Read more Nickelodeon stories.)