INTERVIEW: Blue’s Clues Creators Angela Santomero and Traci Paige Johnson

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Blue’s Clues is celebrating 25 years of exceptional children’s programming. I had the great privilege to interview the creators, Angela Santomero and Traci Paige Johnson, to discuss the journey and what is to come for Blue’s Clues.

What is it about Blue’s Clues that has given it the staying power that it has for the last 25 years?

Angela S. – I feel like, honestly, the stars aligned with this show. Like, every single person that worked on it loves it so much and continues to love it. And we do our homework. We do tons of research with kids. We know what kids are excited about. We don’t take anything for granted. We’re constantly trying to raise the bar with regard to how kids are interacting and how they’re learning and playing and laughing.

Traci P – Yeah, and I think it’s just that connection that was made of breaking that fourth wall of continuing Mr. Rogers legacy, which Angela’s so inspired by just connecting and looking in the camera and saying you matter, and that really makes an impact as kids.

The last time we talked about Gabby’s Dollhouse, we talked about how Blue was initially supposed to be a cat. I read that there was a time where you guys had tested an audience with a female host. So I’m curious to know, would there ever be a female or a woman as Blue’s host later on down the road?

Angela S. – I mean, absolutely. Yeah. I just honestly, we love Josh so much. I hope he’s with us forever. We’re constantly lifting to have women actresses on the show as well.

Traci P – Yeah, we have the librarian Camilla, who speaks ASL who just has a great connection with the camera, and she’s lovely. And we have a new firefighter who is going to become a firefighter, Frankie.

Angela S. – And let’s not forget, the show is so run by women.

Traci P – We must not forget that Blue is a girl!

All the Details about the New Blue’s Clues Movie and 25th Anniversary Highlights

Do you have a favorite host from over the years? 

Traci P – We can’t do that? You love Steve the steviest, Donovan the donovanist, and  Josh the joshiest!

Angela S.- We were just talking about this with them. They all approach the show with the same respect, the same love for kids, and understanding what the mission is. But they have a different way that they do it, which I think we love.

I’m dying to know about the unaired episode called Blue Prints. What was that first pilot episode like that was never aired for people, and will fans ever get to see it? 

Traci P- It is out there.

Angela S. – So it’s Snack Time as it is. We did it as the first episode, but you know, with a pilot, it was us…

Traci P – There was no green striped shirt. Yeah, it was just a polo shirt because we didn’t have money to do anything. The backgrounds were not as textural in 3d it was more just 2d. But all the same elements in the storyline actually, I think the script is the same script.

Angela S. – So the pilot when we watch it, it’s like watching a home movie because you just can see us thinking through every little thing and change.

Traci P – It’s very funny, because we love the named Blue Prints because we thought it was so layered and themed because not only is Blue leaving her blueprints, but it’s also blueprints to a child’s mind. And we’re all about that education. And so we were just so proud of ourselves later. Like it has to be Blue Prints. But you know, with Angela’s background research of testing everything with kids, the research came back. They’re calling it Blue’s Clues. I don’t care what you call it, it’s Blue Clues. We’re like, no, it’s Blue Prints. and then are like,

Angela S. – Oh, we gotta listen to the kid. And of course, the kids named the show.

Traci P – Now, we can’t even imagine not calling it Blue’s Clues.

Which character other than Blue would have a great spin-off show?

Angela S. – We think they all would. Like the spice family. We could uncover a whole new world for the spice family.

Celebrate 25 years of Blue’s Clues with the special 2-disc DVD release of Blue’s Clues & You! Story Time with Blue! This DVD is full of fun stories from Blue and her friends as they use their imagination, attend a pajama party, and discover Blue’s favorite part of bedtime. Also featuring a bonus disc with eight episodes from the original series, Blue’s Clues & You! Story Time with Blue will capture the hearts of both new and nostalgic fans of all ages!

The Blue’s Clues & You! Story Time with Blue 2-disc special edition will be available on DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment on September 14, 2021, for the suggested retail price of $10.99.

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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle. Buy me a coffee

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