Why Steve Left Blue’s Clues: ‘I Was The Happiest Depressed Person’

Steve Burns rocked the late ’90s and early ’00s as possibly the most prominent children’s television personality aside from Fred Rogers.

And it was proven when he had to go away for “college” in 2006 and leave his big red chair to his onscreen little brother Donovan Patton AKA Joe — because we can guarantee there was not one dry eye in your home when the news broke!

Steve held, and still holds, a big place in the hearts of millions. But back when he was at the top of his game, he was actually struggling behind the scenes and never let it show…

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In a new interview with Variety published on Wednesday, the kids’ TV superstar said not wanting to wear a wig because he began losing his hair at 30 wasn’t the only reason he parted ways with his playful blue pup:

“I didn’t know it yet, but I was the happiest depressed person in North America. 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.”

So sad. Many of us can probably relate to the feeling of exhaustion that comes with trying to remain happy on the outside at all times. It’s downright unhealthy…

Burns says after so many years of doing just that, he paid the price with his mental health:

“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 said after his departure to “college” he finally took some time to care for himself:

“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. After I left Blue’s Clues, there was a long period of healing.”

Sadly, in 2015, the actor’s father died of cancer which was understandably a huge thing to deal with — but he was able to find some positives and work on himself:

“I [cared] for him while he was dying of cancer, and it changed me. It made me think about things I hadn’t thought about, like legacy and the value of the things we’ve left behind. It forced me to reevaluated and take much more seriously my mental health.”

And luckily today the 49-year-old has a better relationship with his onscreen character:

“I’ve never enjoyed being Steve more than I do now. I get to wear a trenchcoat. It’s like Grover-meets-Columbo — a clown character. That’s really freeing somehow.”

Oh, and in case you were wondering — he still hasn’t forgotten you! The children’s television legend still has his original thinking chair and handy dandy notebook in his home! He’s also going to be returning to Blue’s world in Blue’s Big City Adventure with Donovan and Joshua Dela Cruz — it premieres on Paramount+ on November 18.

We’re so glad to hear Steve has found true happiness and a new passion for life! Will U be watching the new movie? Let us know in the comments (below).

[Image via Nickelodeon Animation Studio/Instagram/Steve Burns]