|“||No, child, please. If I were standing closer to you... I would slap you in the throat.||”|
— Stephano to Violet
Stephano was one of Count Olaf's aliases. He disguised himself as a herpetological assistant in an attempt to snatch the Baudelaire orphans from the care of Dr. Montgomery Montgomery in The Reptile Room.
To make his disguise convincing and prevent premature exposure during his scheme, Count Olaf had powder applied to his ankle tattoo, shaved off his unibrow, and put on a fake beard.
Stephano was an Italian man that was hired by Dr. Montgomery to be his herpetological assistant after the loss (murder) of his previous assistant Gustav Sebald. Stephano claims to be a member of the Herpetological Society.
While having dinner with Montgomery and the Baudelaire children, he gently rubs the blade of his knife against Violet's knee under the knee for their entire meal. This was his way of threatening her if she attempted to reveal Stephano's true identity to their guardian.
One night, Stephano murdered Montgomery Montgomery using the venom of the Mamba du Mal. With the help of the Hook-Handed Man while he was under the alias of Dr. O. Lucafont, Stephano pinned the blame on the Incredibly Deadly Viper. Mr. Poe was not convinced that the snake's name was a misnomer so the Baudelaires attempted to stall the conversation between them as long as they could to expose the truth. After they did, Mr. Poe persauded Stephano to lift up his pant leg so he could use a cloth to remove the powder. This revealed the tattoo on Count Olaf's ankle while Sunny removed the Hook-Handed Man's fake hands. Both of them, however, managed to get away before they could be apprehended.
Instead of the exposure of his true identity, Stephano managed to successfully escape, leaving a trail of accessories for his disguise that led to the open front door.
He was depicted with black hair and a thin moustache. He was also wearing a yellow collared lab coat. Compared to the books and Netflix adaptation, Stephano appeared younger-looking and had no long beard.
His portrayal in the Netflix series is similar to his role in the books.
According to this guise, "Stephano" was a member of the SSSSSS (Scientific Society Seeking to Soothe Stress and Suffering).
He first appeared at the front door and used his knife to get in the mansion, explicitly threatening the Baudelaires that if they don’t call him Stephano, he will cut off one of Sunny’s toes. He then chases them with it, but they thankfully were able to lock themselves in the Reptile Room. When Uncle Monty later returned from his shopping trip, "Stephano" introduced himself and presented a fold out sheet about the SSSSSS with a Count Olaf poster on the back. Everyone went to see Zombies in the Snow, and afterwards, Monty confronted him about his suspicions, but not for the reason the Baudelaire orphans expected. In other words, he was under the false impression that "Stephano" was a spy for the Herpetological Society.
At night, he poisoned Uncle Monty using a dual syringe. That way, the marks they leave resemble a snake bite. He abruptly forced the frightened children into his car to board the ship because they were scheduled to travel to Peru, but winds up crashing into Mr. Poe's car on their way out of Montgomery's driveway and they discuss the situation. Just like in the book series, Violet discovered evidence that proved that Dr. Montgomery was not poisoned by the Mamba du Mal, exposing "Stephano" and his accomplices. Sadly, they flee into the hedge maze and disappear into a secret passageway.
He has a mask over his head to cover his hair, he wears glasses and has a large, bushy beard. He wears a brown jacket and always has a knife with him. He uses talcum powder to cover his tattoo. He speaks in an Italian accent.
- "I am so tired of having to explain everything to you. You're supposed to be so very smart, and yet you always seem to forget about this! This is my knife. It is very sharp and very eager to hurt you, almost as eager as I am. If you don't do what I say, you will suffer bodily harm. Is that clear enough for you? Now, get in the damn jeep."
- "And that is when I said to him the frog is the greatest reptile known to man."
- "I don't know anything about mouth sores."
- "I am so tired of having to explain everything to you. You're supposed to be so very smart, and yet you always seem to forget about this."
- "It's no problem. As long as the vehicle is operational, then we really must be going."
- "Oh, come on, man. It's just a fender bender."
- "No, child, please. If I were standing closer to you... I would slap you in the throat."
- His name is incorrectly listed as "Stefano" in some printings of The Austere Academy, depending on the version.
- However, Stefano is an anagram of “not safe”, so there is a possibility that Stefano was intended to be the correct spelling.
- In the Netflix series, Dr. Montgomery asks Stephano where he studied herpetology and his reply was that he does not know anything about mouth sores. This is a joke about herpes.
"Stephano was supposed to be the assistant of Dr. Montgomery, so I wanted him to be in the world of Peter Lorre, someone who was clearly the sidekick but could bounce back and forth between being dark Olaf to silly sidekick comedy" - Neil Patrick Harris on Stephano.
The Catastrophic Card Game