Stephen Colbert Helps 'Blue's Clues' 'Friend' Steve Burns Track Down a Clue in Surprise Appearance

Steve Burns, the original host of Blue's Clues, made friends with Stephen Colbert while appearing on The Late Show after his Nick Jr. anniversary address went viral

Steve Burns knows he's pulling at the internet's — and one particular late-night host's — heartstrings.

The Blues Clues star, 47, befriended Stephen Colbert while appearing on The Late Show Thursday. The host got choked up about Burns' viral video to millennials, released in honor of the children's show's 25th anniversary.

After playing the clip — in which the Nick Jr. alum addressed his "abrupt" departure from the series in 2002, celebrated the accomplishments of his now-adult audience in the years since he left, and touchingly told viewers he "never forgot" them — Colbert, 57, got emotional.

"Nice message and everything, but that show was for my kids, and by definition, I feel nothing," he teased, pretending the video didn't affect him.

Calling in from the side stage, Burns asked, "Are you sure about that, Stephen?"

The Internet Is Crying Over Steve From "Blue's Clues"
Steve Burns. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The audience applauded, and Colbert asked Burns — who the host insisted he was "not emotionally invested in" — what he was doing there.

"I just came by, I wanted to see if you were okay? You seemed kind of upset, and I just wanted to know if maybe you needed a hug?" Burns said. "That's what friends do, right?"

"I mean if you need one, or whatever," Colbert sheepishly said, and the two men embraced.

As the in-studio audience cheered for the new friendship, the late-night host had a surprise to share.

Steve from Blues Clues
Steve Burns in Blues Clues. nickelodeon

Reaching behind his desk, he pulled out a signature blue paw print from Burns and Blue's mystery-solving adventures.

Stepping back into character with the same wholesome wonder that defined his hosting style from 1996 to 2002, Burns pretended to be shocked and congratulated Colbert.

"Wow, great job, Stephen, let's go tell Blue!" he exclaimed, and the two ran off stage.

While Burns' address continues to make the rounds online with over 36 million views and counting on Twitter, it isn't the first time he's discussed his decision to leave the popular children's show. When he left in 2002, he was first replaced by Donovan Patton as "Joe."

"I knew I wasn't going to be doing children's television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid's TV show, and it was happening, fast," he explained later in the 2006 special, Behind the Clues: 10 Years with Blue.

Blue's Clues returned to TV in 2019 with Broadway star Joshua Dela Cruz as its host. Just like Burns before him, Dela Cruz has a Thinking Chair, a Handy Dandy Notebook and friends like Tickety Tock, Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper, Mailbox and Magenta.

When news of Dela Cruz's casting was announced, the original host said he was elated for the actor.

"I had the great honor of being a part of the search for the new host, and I give Josh two thumbs up!" said Burns in an earlier statement. "He can definitely fill my shoes, and the rugby shirt."

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