The COVID-19 pandemic was made a tiny bit better when Steve Burns of Blues Clues fame re-appeared unexpectedly. Burns captivated generations of children who are now millenials just trying to find their way in a big, scary world. He recently appeared at the 2022 LA Comic Con to talk about his incredible journey, and what it means to re-connect with fans who have all grown up.
Burns began by discussing his happiness at coming back into the spotlight. He reflected, “We [Steve Burns and the audience] started talking to each other…20 some years ago”. He continued, “Even though it was highly mediated…through a television…it felt immediate to me”
Burns reflected on the journey and the impact that he had in his role in of children everywhere. “It just seems pretty special that we are able, all these years later to…re-connect and continue the conversation at totally different parts of our lives”. He expressed gratitude for fans who have remained with him through the years.
Steve Burns told the audience how he became Steve from Blues Clues. He had moved to New York City at 21 years of age to, in his words, “become a pretentious actor”. As an interesting fact, his tenure on Blues Clues “almost didn’t happen at all”. He answered a call for a children’s TV show. He said that had he known the role was for more of a host, “I don’t know if I would have gone.”
Burns was fortunate enough to often get to see his impact in real-time. Burns recounted that his favourite piece of fan-mail was from a young fan named Johnathan. His letter simply read, “Dear Steve, I love you. I want to be a pizza. Love, Jonathan”. Burns expressed that he has always wanted to find Johnathan, to find out whether his dreams actually came true.
Burns described the process through which he auditioned for this iconic role. He described channeling a massive amount of earnestness into the camera that was in the room. The pilot was written “as a game show, almost,” Burns told the audience. Burns recognized early on how important it was to maintain the energy he brought to the audition, and to speak to children on their level.
Burns waxed poetic about his struggle with imposter syndrome. “I never felt qualified to educate America’s Children,” he said. He questioned whether Blues Clues would not be better hosted by an educator or a child development specialist. Kids always wanted Steve, however. “I’m just a skate punk who fell into the wrong audition…there was a lot of doubt about that,” he said, addressing the doubt he had in himself.
Finally, Burns opened up about his personal experiences with mental illness. “I was also struggling with severe depression that entire time…I didn’t know that’s what was going on,” he said. He talked about how he has gained a greater appreciation for the struggles of others having lived through depression himself.
Steve Burns will always hold a place of honour in the hearts of millennials everywhere. His instantly recognizable authenticity served him well as he went on adventures with a little dog and children around the world. Sitting down with Burns truly was like connecting with an old friend.
What were your favourite moments from LA Comic Con 2022? Share your thoughts in the comments below!