Digital News Writer
Steve Burns is opening up about his abrupt 2002 exit from Blue’s Clues, revealing his personal health struggles.
In an interview with Variety, the former Nickelodeon host, now 49, says he left the hit program because of his severe clinical depression.
"I didn't know it yet, but I was the happiest depressed person in North America," he said. "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."
Now living in an undisclosed area of the Catskill mountains, the former Brooklyn-based star says he left the city to live in a more tranquil environment.
"I'm most often alone up here, but I'm very rarely lonely," Steve told the outlet. "There's much more of me to share here than there was in New York City. I was deflecting all of the stimulus at all times."
“I’ve never enjoyed being Steve more than I do now,” he said. After a long reset, Burns will finally be back for a film version of the show, Blue’s Big City Adventure, which airs on Paramount+ on Nov. 18.
In the past, the TV personality voiced frustration over his balding and he did not want to have to wear a wig on the show. Now, he's bald and gets to "wear a trenchcoat," he said of his current freedom. "It's like Grover-meets-Culumbo — a clown character. That's really freeing somehow."
Burns also shared how his father's death in 2015 put life in perspective after experiencing immense loss. "I cared for him while he was dying of cancer, and it changed me," he said. "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 reevaluate and take much more seriously my mental health," he added. "And New York City never was much good for my mental health."
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
Digital News Writer