Beyond the Background: Stereo, The Rejected Space Goof

It’s time for another installment of Beyond the Background, where the lesser known, less celebrated, discarded and ignored characters finally get their moment in the spotlight.

Remember Space Goofs? For the uninformed, Space Goofs (also known as Home to Rent in the UK, Les Zinzins de l’espace in France and Quebec, Ein Heim für Aliens in Germany and Stupid Invaders internationally) was a French/German/American animated series produced by Gaumont Multimedia, and Xilam for France 3 that first aired in 1997. It also debuted at the same year in Germany on ProSieben. It also aired in Quebec, on Télétoon. In the UK, the 1st season premiered on Channel 4 under the name Home to Rent and the 2nd season premiered under its original moniker on Nicktoons UK on 5 November 2005 at 9:30 a.m. It also aired as part of the Fox Kids lineup on Fox in the United States.

The premise was simple: 5 colorful, silly looking aliens from the planet Zigma B crash into an asteroid while on an intergalactic picnic and crash land on Earth, where they take up residence in an empty house for rent. The aliens have two goals: Return to their home planet and chase away anybody who tries to move into the house, and wackiness ensued. The 5 E.T.s consisted of Etno Polino, Bud Budiovitch, Candy Caramella, Gorgious Klatoo and the subject of today’s article, Stereo Monovici.

He’s 2, 2, 2 Goofs in 1!
The show’s theme song was performed by rock legend Iggy Pop. Now, there’s some musical cred.

Each Space Goof had his own unique color and personality: purple alien Etno was the leader and brains of the team, a scientific genius who invented useful devices (you could tell he was really smart because he spoke with a James Mason sound-alike voice which was provided by Maurice “The Brain” LaMarche), orange alien Bud was the glassy-eyed, brain-addled TV addict, fat blue alien Gorgious (named after his penchant for gorging himself, not for his looks) was the loud, loutish, bullying, obnoxious glutton (sort of an interplanetary Eric Cartman), polka-dotted apron wearing green alien Candy was the prim, fussy, prissy, uptight neat-freak in touch with his feminine side, typically dressing up as a woman when the Goofs needed to go in disguise (Fun Trivia Fact: In the Latin American version of the show which aired on Jetix, Candy’s gender was switched to female). Stereo, the red alien, was the bookworm of the house, burying himself in books and boning up on facts, mainly dropping tons of useless information. Oh, and also he had 2 heads, which often argued with one another. The show ran for 2 seasons.

Afterward, the Fab Four and a Half appeared in an adventure game called Stupid Invaders (I love that title!), produced by Ubisoft, and more recently plans for a Stupid Invaders movie were announced. So far, all we’ve gotten of this movie is this trailer:

Did anyone notice something missing from that trailer? Something slightly askew? A missing component? Where was Stereo?? It seems that he/they was/were discarded by the show’s producers. Some theorized that Stereo was dropped because kids found him/them too scary. That was just a rumor, of course. Stereo is not scary, THIS is scary:

STRANGER DANGER! Kill it with fire!!!!
No, the real reason for Stereo’s absence was because Stereo was removed from season two of the show because several viewers and even Xilam Studios described him as “a very weak character” and Stereo was removed from the series altogether in season two. Now, as a double-bodied oddity myself (I’m a twin, for those who don’t know), that burns my ass. Stereo was no weaker than any of the other characters on the show; trying to imagine Space Goofs/Stupid Invaders without “him” is like trying to imagine the Beatles without Ringo. Sure, Ringo has become famous for being the butt of jokes (including his own), but even if he was “just the drummer”, he’s still a Beatle, darn it, and you can’t imagine the band without him. Stereo’s the same way; “weak character” or not, he/they is/are still a Space Goof, he/they have been with the show since day 1, and with 1 Goof (or 2, depending on how one counts Stereo) missing it’s just not the same. Hopefully, whenever this movie gets made, the producers will listen to fans’ requests and bring Stereo back.
In the meantime, when asked about Stereo’s deletion, the other Space Goofs claim that while Stereo wouldn’t mind being reinstated, he’s not too upset about it, in fact, he’s found a new sense of inner peace and serenity ever since the ‘big event’. You see, after years of bickering, Stereo has finally found his “One”, and has recently joined in civil union…with himself.
  “I wish I knew how to quit me!”
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