Steve Burns (October 9, 1973 - ) is an actor, singer, and guitarist best-known for his stint as host of the popular Nickelodeon children's television show Blue's Clues. Burns hosted the show starting with its inception in 1996 and continuing through 2002, at which time the character Joe (portrayed by Donovan Patton) took over hosting duties.
During his run as host, Burns also appeared as an abused high school student in a April 1998 episode of Homicide: Life on the Street and as himself in a 2000 episode of Yes, Dear. Burns has also contributed performances to limited-release or student films such as La Le├žon, The Bill, and Marie and Bruce.
In the fall of 1998, an urban legend began circulating on the Internet that Burns had died from a heroin overdose. To counter this rumor, Burns appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on November 12, 1998 to confirm his continued good health. The legend may have started from Burns' appearance as an autistic teenager in a April 1995 episode of Law & Order, in which his character died before the opening credits. Burns' "overdose" may also have been simply another iteration of a subgenre of urban legend in which celebrity figures whose public personas are associated with innocence are supposedly revealed to have a hidden, seedier side. (Examples of previous iterations of this genre are John Denver being a sniper in the Vietnam War or children's television show host Fred Rogers having a criminal past . The genre dates at least as far as back as the 1920s with a supposed incident surrounding children's radio show host Uncle Don .)
After Burns left Blue's Clues in 2002, he recorded a rock album, Songs for Dustmites, that was released in 2003. The album was produced with the assistance of producer Dave Fridmann of Tarbox Road Studios, and with the assistance of and contributions by Steven Drozd, drummer for The Flaming Lips. (During the recording, Burns portrayed an engineer aboard a spacecraft in The Flaming Lips' film, Christmas on Mars.) The album was well-received by critics, many of which expressed surprise at the album's quality (given their previous associations of Burns as "merely" a children's talk show host). Burns followed up the album's release with an international tour in 2003 and 2004.
He has recently contributed a cover of They Might Be Giants' "Dead" to an upcoming TMBG tribute album, Hello Radio.
Burns has an active voice-over career. His voice can be heard on numerous Rubbermaid commercials, as well as the 1996 McDonald's commercial that introduced the Arch Deluxe sandwich.