If you have ever heard the name "Count Olaf" before, then you already know he is a villainous, greedy man, with poor personal hygiene. If you have never heard of any such "Count" called "Olaf," then please close this tab on your computer and go read a more pleasant internet article. Because this, dear reader, is a loathsome list of all of Count Olaf's disguises in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Anyone who was unlucky enough to read A Series of Unfortunate Events as a small, impressionable child will recall that Count Olaf is a dastardly man with one long eyebrow, a tattoo of an eye on his ankle, and shiny, shiny eyes. He is a professional actor/villain. But, in his endless pursuit of the Baudelaires and their fortune, Count Olaf has taken on many different identities. He has been a gym teacher, a receptionist, and a human resources director. He has taken on different names, voices, and appearances, always fooling everyone except for those miserable Baudelaire orphans.
The new Netflix adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events will no doubt include this dreadful man and his assortment of costume pieces, but if you need a refresher on Count Olaf and his many lies, here are all of The Count's disguises from the books:
When we meet Count Olaf in The Bad Beginning, he's working on the play The Marvelous Marriage by Al Funcoot. Of course, The Marvelous Marriage turns out to be a plot for Olaf to legally marry Violet and get his unclean hands on her family fortune. So it should surprise no one that "Al Funcoot" is Olaf's pen name, as well as an anagram for "Count Olaf." (Count Olaf, much like Lord Voldemort, enjoys making anagrams and bothering orphans).
Stephano is supposedly the new assistant working for herpetologist Montgomery Montgomery, but the Baudelaires recognize him at once as Count Olaf. Stephano has a long beard and no eyebrows, and his ankle tattoo is covered with makeup. Uncle Monty thinks that Stephano is a spy out to steal his Incredibly Deadly Viper, but Stephano murders Monty before he can escape with the children to Peru.
3Captain Julio Sham
Captain Sham is a sailor who wears an eye patch (conveniently hiding his eyebrow) and a peg leg (conveniently hiding his ankle tattoo). He charms Aunt Josephine before forcing her to fake her own death so he can seize the children.
Olaf very briefly disguises himself as a rabbi to get on a train and flee Lake Lachrymose.
5Shirley T. Sinoit-Pécer
Shirley T. Sinoit-Pécer is a receptionist working for Dr. Georgina Orwell near Lucky Smells Lumber Mill. The children recognize her as Olaf, and soon realize that Dr. Orwell is one of Olaf's associates as well. Shirley describes herself as "a poor receptionist who lives all by herself, and who wants very much to raise children of her own." T. Sinoit-Pécer is "Receptionist" spelled backwards.
Coach Genghis is "the finest gym teacher the world has ever seen," in his own words. He wears a turban over his eyebrow and expensive running shoes over his ankles. He is hired by Vice-Principal Nero to teach gym class at Prufrock Preparatory School, where he forces the Baudelaires to participate in S.O.R.E., or "Special Orphan Running Exercises," making them too tired to pass their classes.
Gunther is an auctioneer from a foreign country. He wears a pinstripe suit, and says "please" frequently, because his English is not very good. Gunther also wears a monocle to distort his single eyebrow, and boots to cover his tattoo. Esmé Squalor is working with him on the "in" auction for all fashionable and "in" things—but it turns out she knows that Gunther is secretly Count Olaf, and she is, in fact, dating him.
Detective Dupin is a very "famous" and "cool" detective, who wears sunglasses and plastic shoes. It's possible that he murdered the actual police chief of the Village of Fowl Devotees, with Officer Luciana (secretly Olaf's girlfriend, Esmé) as a replacement. He frames the orphans for murdering Count Olaf, then escapes on a very cool motorcycle.
Mattathias is the new Director of Human Resources at Heimlich Hospital. The Baudelaires never actually see Mattathias, but his voice is heard over the hospital intercom. The fate of the previous Director of Human Resources is unknown.
Kit Snicket is, notably, Count Olaf's last disguise... and his only disguise that doesn't fool anyone. It's also probably the only time that Olaf dresses up as a former lover of his. When Olaf and the Baudelaires wash up on The Island (or Olaf-Land, as Olaf calls it), they find a pregnant Kit Snicket unconscious on the beach as well. Olaf attempts to disguise himself as Kit using a helmet containing the deadly Medusoid Mycelium as a fake pregnant belly. The islanders see right through him, however, and abandon him on a coastal shelf.
Images: Netflix, Youtube (1)