In November, 13 years after leaving its last blue paw print on Nick Jr., Blue’s Clues came back on the air. The 2019 reboot features a new name, Blue’s Clues & You!; a more CGI blue-spotted dog; and a new host, Josh, played by stage actor Joshua Dela Cruz. On the show, Josh is supposed to be the cousin of former Blue’s Clues hosts and fictional brothers Steve and Joe. Undeniably, though, Josh is the hottest of the bunch. Just look at his ripped chest, bursting through his dorky blue sweater — like a superhero with Broadway chops.
Josh’s hotness didn’t go unnoticed among longtime Blue’s Clues fans who grew up watching the show. Though some might not be watching anymore, they’re lusting for the new face of their beloved franchise. Josh is sincere. He’s good with kids and puppies. He’s husband material, and we aren’t worthy. Fans especially love his grin. “When he smiles, his dimples pop out,” says Mila Torres, an 18-year-old from Puerto Rico. “I didn’t expect someone so kind-looking somehow. The way he talked to the audience, in general, was gentle.” “He’s just like a nerdy king of cute, y’know?” says Bri Leon, an 18-year-old from Florida. “Those glasses — fire.”
It might seem odd to objectify the star of a show for children, but this wouldn’t be the first time. Curious George’s owner, the Man in the Yellow Hat, is peak lank. Then there are the Kratt brothers — aka Zoboomafoo zaddies.
But no show has had a trio of sexy hosts like Blue’s Clues. Before Josh, there was Steve (Steve Burns), the show’s first host, who starred from 1996 to 2002 and got a Daytime Emmy nod. Then came Joe (Donovan Patton), who took over and saw the series through its 2006 ending.
He’s also a new face, so there’s no concern of lusting after a guy you used to watch while sitting in a poopy diaper. “Steve kinda reminds me of a fatherly figure. Not saying he’s too old or anything, it’s just he’s like Mr. Rogers to me,” says Ashley Whittenburg, a 22-year-old from Gatesville, Texas. “Also, Josh is just smoking hot.”
Still, there are plenty of holdouts for the original hosts. Last week, a vintage photo of Steve on set went viral when people noticed his style is actually pretty fashionable today. He wears a faded cap, a long-sleeve block-striped polo and white-legged khakis. He looks like he listens to 100 Gecs and lives in Bushwick. Steve is a softboi.
For fans who grew up on Steve, no one can replace one of the first emotionally available men in their lives — not even Joe. Steve stan Ashley Crittenden, a 24-year-old student in Missouri, was turning 6 when they experienced grief for the first time: their grandmother died and their beloved Blue’s Clues Steve was replaced with Joe. No matter how great Joe was, Crittenden always remained a Steve stan. “I know I have no logical or valid complaints,” they say of Joe. “He just wasn’t Steve.”
But we can’t forget about Joe. Sure, he dressed similar to Steve, in oversized sweaters and ill-fitting pants, but Joe had a more youthful energy. Steve was the older, responsible brother, while Joe was the boyish, boisterous younger sibling. “Always had a crush on him as a kid,” says Stacy Costantino, from North Carolina. “Now that I’m an adult, I think one day I was just like, ‘What’s Joe from Blue’s Clues up to?’ And then I was like, ‘Oh, he’s hot as shit.’”
Perhaps what makes the Blue’s Clues guys so hot isn’t just their looks or their well-aged style. Maybe it’s that they’re seemingly nice guys. Caillou is a whiny, bald-headed bitch. Peppa Pig is a pop diva (justifiably so). And Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch is, well, a grouch.
“When my son was growing up, it was important for me to have him know it was okay to have emotions and to be sensitive and caring,” Kolleen Carney Hoepfner, a freelance writer and editor of literary journal Drunk Monkeys, tells MEL.
She found that male role model for him in Steve and Joe. Now she’s watching the gentle dudes on Blue’s Clues again, this time with her 9-month-old daughter, Leda. It’s simply an add-on that the hosts are hot, especially new guy Josh. “It makes it a lot easier to watch the show repeatedly.”