Former “Blue’s Clues” host Steve Burns revealed that he left the Nick Jr. show in 2002 because he was battling severe clinical depression, which he said made doing the show “impossible.”
Burns’ abrupt exit — written off as his character going to college — sparked a variety of bizarre rumors, reported Variety.
“I didn’t know it yet, but I was the happiest depressed person in North America,” said Burns.
“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,” he continued.
“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 added.
Rumors of Burns’ death — everything from a car crash to a heroin overdose — hounded him after his departure. There were even outlandish stories saying the producers of the show attempted to have him killed, or that he was killed by the Taliban.
Despite Burns addressing these rumors, they never truly went away.
“I was under the working assumption that most of y’all thought I was dead,” said Burns.
“That rumor was so persistent and so indelible that I assumed it was a cultural preference. I eventually just took the hint. I kept my head down and left public life.”
Burns reemerged last year for the show’s 25th anniversary to tell audiences that he never forgot them.
“You remember how when we were younger, we used to run around and hang out with Blue … 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? Because I realize that was kind of abrupt,” he said in the 2021 Twitter video.
“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”
The post was retweeted nearly 800,000 times and liked by 1.9 million people.
Burns said he also left the show because he wasn’t “boyish” anymore, and his hair had started to fall out.
The Post reached out to Burns for comment.