|“||I could never be a noble person. I have a hump on my back.||”|
— Hugo, The Penultimate Peril
Hugo was one of the carnival freaks at Caligari Carnival. He had a hunched back which made him look slightly awkward. He is grouped with Colette, a "freak" for being a contortionist, and Kevin, a "freak" for being ambidextrous.
The Carnivorous Carnival
Esmé Squalor promises to Hugo and the other freaks that if they push Madame Lulu into the lion pit, then they can become Count Olaf's henchmen. Esmé gave him a gift to persuade him: the large coat the hook-handed man wore when he was the doorman in The Ersatz Elevator which completely disguises his hunchback.
During the lion pit scene, when Count Olaf offered a "special reward" if someone shoved someone into the pit, Hugo attempts to push Madame Lulu, meaning Hugo is mentally unbalanced as it shows his desperation for acceptance in the world.
He then joins Count Olaf and becomes one of his henchmen.
The Slippery Slope
The Penultimate Peril
In The Penultimate Peril, which marks his final appearance in the series, he is disguised as a Hotel Denouement worker on the roof. He has green sunglasses and a long baggy robe to cover his hunchback. He has a giant spatula to flip sunbathers over. Hugo, Colette and Kevin eventually reveal their identities to the Baudelaires.
During the trial of the Baudelaire children and Count Olaf, Hugo submitted some carnival posters as evidence. When the Hotel Denouement Fire is started, Hugo, Colette, and Kevin were last seen on one of the floors holding the bird paper that Klaus hung on the outside of the sauna. Hugo asked if the plan for the horderves is still in operation. It is left uncertain if Hugo survived the fire at the Hotel Denouement.
Hugo's role is mainly the same in the TV series, although it is substantially cut. In The Slippery Slope: Part One, he, along with Colette and Kevin, are implied to be killed by the Man with a Beard but No Hair and the Woman with Hair but No Beard. However, it's also possible they were frightened and ran away, and had happier lives.
Just before he is last seen with Olaf's troupe, Hugo also rants about the cruel way he has been treated, as well as the cruel acts he has also been involved in, which later inspires the rest of the troupe to leave Olaf, especially the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender.
Behind the scenes
He is portrayed by Kevin Cahoon in the Netflix adaptation.
- "I thought working for Count Olaf would be glamorous and fun, but in my short time in his employ, I have aided in kidnapping and murder, I have spent a bumpy ride in the trunk of a car, and I have had my self-worth degraded, undoing years of therapy. I'm beginning to question my life choices. And frankly, SO SHOULD YOU!" (Hugo to Olaf and his troupe)
- The Carnivorous Carnival
- The Slippery Slope
- The Penultimate Peril
- A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV series)