Steve Burns

'Blue's Clues' Star Steve Burns Delivers Nostalgic Commencement Speech

Home / Entertainment / 'Blue's Clues' Star Steve Burns Delivers Nostalgic Commencement Speech

By Melanie VanDerveer on May 21, 2024 at 8:00 AM EDT

Steve Burns, the "original gangster host" of the wildly popular children's television show, "Blue's Clues" shared his words of wisdom, with lots of humor thrown in, during SUNY Delhi's commencement speech over the weekend.

Despite the drizzling rain at the outdoor graduation, Burns had the crowd—many of whom likely grew up watching "Blue's Clues"—laughing and enjoying their final college experience before receiving their degrees.

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Steve Burns Gave The Commencement Speech At SUNY Delhi's Graduation Over The Weekend

"Blue's Clues" Steve Burns
TikTok | Umbrella.Memes2

Last weekend, the graduates at SUNY Delhi got the opportunity to hear someone they likely grew up watching on television give their commencement speech. Filled with humor and light moments, Burns helped to send the new graduates off into the world with some laughs and inspiration.

"I'm Steve Burns and I've totally been your neighbor for four years," he said. "You may have seen me around town, maybe at the Price Chopper or something, but if you know me at all, you probably just know me as Steve, with one name and no last name, like Beyoncé."

He continued to give some background on who he is and how the graduates likely know him.

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"You see, 45 million years ago, I was the original gangster host of the children's television show on Nickelodeon called 'Blue's Clues," he said as everyone applauded. "I'm hoping most of you are familiar with that show otherwise this is just a commencement speech from some dude who you watched by a pair of socks at Tractor Supply."

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Steve Burns Gave Some Background On 'Blue's Clues' For Anyone Unaware

Assuming there was someone in the crowd unfamiliar with the popular children's show, Burns gave some background.

"'Blue's Clues' was a really, really, kind of weird children's television show wherein I was the only alive human part of an entirely animated world. I wore the same bad outfit all the time and was generally very nice and very excited about absolutely everything," he said.

"I hung out with an animated puzzle-solving puppy who was blue and also named Blue, which is why the show was called 'Blue's Clues.'  I had meaningful conversations with my condiments, I sang songs with a bar of soap, and when the mail showed up, dude, I freaked out. I went crazy, I sang songs and jumped into the air."

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He then said that his main job was to look for clues to mysteries that "were painfully obvious to everyone but me."

"And that's where you came in, my friend," he continued. "In each and every episode, I would need your help and so I would stand in front of the camera and look into the lens as if I was looking right at you, my ride or die, and I would ask, 'Will you help me?' And you always did, thankfully, because I never would have found any of those clues without you."

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Steve Burns Said People Still Tell Him How Much 'Blue's Clues' Meant To Them

Steve Burns
Instagram | Steve Burns

Burns then told the crowd that even now, years after he left the hit show as their first host, people still approach him to tell him how much the show meant to them growing up. He said people even sing the show's songs to him.

"And they tell me about their favorite episode. And very often, someone will repeat to me a phrase that I said all the time on every episode," he continued. "And that's, 'If you use your mind and take a step at a time, you can do anything that you wanna do.'"

Burns said that the target demographic of the show, preschool-age children, is a "very literal group of people" and that message used to concern him a bit. The example he gave was a piece of fan mail he once received.

"Dear Steve, I love your show. I want to be a pizza. Love, Brian," he shared. "And as the years passed, I've often thought of Brian, worried that he's lived his life according to my advice in pursuit of the dream of actually becoming a piece of pizza. And I wonder if Brian is out there somewhere deeply disappointed, covered in marinara sauce. And I hope that he's not."

Burns hopes that Brian understood, just as the graduates have, that the message was not supposed to be taken literally, but rather meant to be "an empowering reminder of the power of hard work" and an "empowering reminder of the importance of having a dream."

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SUNY Delhi Announced Steve Burns Would Be The Keynote Speaker

A few days before the ceremony, SUNY Delhi announced on social media that Burns would be the keynote speaker for their graduation. They also announced it on their website.

"SUNY Delhi’s 107th annual commencement will be held on Saturday, May 18, to recognize approximately 800 graduates receiving master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees and certificates in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024," the website reads.

"This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Steve Burns, an Emmy-nominated actor best known for his role as Steve in Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues and the Paramount+ feature film Blue’s Big City Adventure. Burns is also a critically acclaimed musician."

On Instagram, the college shared more information, including that Burns lives in the area.

"Steve has found a home right here in Delhi, NY, where he continues his decades-long career as a voiceover artist when he’s not writing and directing for the show 'Blue’s Clues' and 'You,'" they wrote in the caption of the post.

The comment section filled up with excitement over the "original gangster host" delivering the commencement speech.

"This is so epic," one person wrote. Another said, "My childhood is complete!!"

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Steve Burns Recently Had A Full Circle Moment While At Indiana Comic-Con

Steve Burns
TikTok | Queen Astraea

While Burns was a guest at Indiana Comic-Con in March, he had a moment with the fan who actually helped him score the coveted role as Steve in "Blue's Clues." This chance meeting was the opportunity to finally thank the child who helped seal the deal for him to be Blue's best friend more than 20 years ago.

Astraea, the child who helped Burns become a household name, was just 3 years old at the time. Now, more than 20 years later, she finally got the chance to tell her story. She shared a TikTok video after meeting Burns with the backstory.

"Back in the early 90s, my mom worked for MTV and Nickelodeon, working specifically in the marketing department," she said. "Essentially how this all went down was that an email blast went out to the whole company."

The email explained how a new show was about to start but the network needed help choosing the host and they wanted to do that with a focus group of children. She ended up being part of that group and ultimately chose Burns for the role.

"I feel so honored that by pure accident, coincidence, whatever was out there in the universe that put me in there, I feel honored to know that my enthusiasm and joy and laughter that Steve gave to me in that focus group was the snowball effect that gave him such an amazing career," she said.

"And made so many other kids learn and laugh and have someone to look up to."

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