Though it may be gone, it is certainly not forgotten. Blues Clues set the standard for the children’s show format that we have seen time and time again. Dora the Explorer, Ni hao, Kai-Lan, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – all of these shows and tons more owe their existence to Blues Clues. My son is 19 months old and he LOVES this show. And you know what? I don’t mind it either. There is something that is still charming about the whole thing. And that’s Steve Burns.
Without a doubt, Steve Burns is so charming and wonderful that he carried the show. They tried Steve’s brother or cousin or whatever and he just didn’t work out. Maybe it’s because no one could accept a substitute Steve or maybe it was because they messed with the format after Steve left (and boy, did they really change things up beyond just the host change). But Steve had a spark that was undeniable.
A great example is in the episode where they learn to tell time. There is a solid minute where viewers are supposed to sit and experience what a full minute feels like. During that minute, Steve keeps adding a few remarks showing just how long that minute is. It could have been weird or awkward, but Steve actually made me laugh during this which is no small accomplishment for a kid’s show.
This is just one small example, but there is at least one moment per episode where Steve seems like he is breaking out of his role of “gee whiz, let’s find some clues” to be funny. It’s really amazing to see how talented he really was and how much you just don’t appreciate him until you’re older. I mean, here is a guy who had to react to a green screen (no small accomplishment) and he made it come alive.
I know it’s a little weird to be gushing on and on about a show that’s been off the air for nearly ten years, but there is something genuine about Blues Clues that I don’t feel like you see in kid’s shows anymore. Of course the show had a pretty strict format, but it also used that format to educate on a variety of subjects. The most admirable was an episode on art appreciation. They showed different works of classic art and discussed their differing styles – pretty heavy stuff for a kid’s show.
Anyway, Steve is still around on twitter, so be sure to follow him because he’s a cool guy. And if you want to watch every episode of Blues Clues, you can watch all of them if you have an Amazon Prime account.