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Fedor Jeftichew

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A portrait of Jeftichew

Fedor Adrianovich Jeftichew (Russian: Фёдор Адрианович Евтищев, Fyodor Yevtishchev, 1868 - January 31, 1904), better known as Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy (later Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Man), was a famous Russian sideshow performer who was brought to the United States of America in 1884 by P.T. Barnum.[1]

Biography

Born in St. Petersburg, Imperial Russia in 1868, Fedor Jeftichew suffered from the medical condition hypertrichosis. He toured with his father, Adrian, who developed the same ailment and had performed in French circuses. He continued to tour with his son before his death. Fedor eventually signed a contract with P.T. Barnum, who brought him to the United States in 1884, when he was sixteen.

Barnum created a story that involved a hunter in Kostroma who tracked Fedor and his father to their cave and captured them. Barnum described Adrian as a savage who could not be civilized. Barnum made a point of stressing Fedor's resemblance to a dog, and explained that when he was upset he would bark and growl. In the show, Fedor obliged by doing so.

Fedor spoke Russian, German, and English, and toured Europe and the United States extensively.

He died in Salonica, Greece, then part of the Ottoman Empire, from pneumonia on January 31, 1904.

In popular culture

  • In the 1940 movie Strike Up the Band (time 54:27), Mickey Rooney takes his date to the fair, and they see a carnival barker who is charging $1 to come into the tent and see "Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy".
  • In issue #106 of Doom Patrol published by DC Comics in 1966, the character Larry "Negative Man" Trainor compares himself to Jo-Jo. After a horrible accident that required him to be quarantined, he eventually wraps himself head to toe in special bandages that allow him to be in public. Upon realizing how everybody viewed him as a freak he thinks to himself, "I'm free! Like a circus freak is free! Like Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy-- and Two-Ton Tilly! Some freedom!"
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "This Side of Paradise", Captain Kirk tells Spock that he "belonged in the circus... right next to the dog-faced boy!"
  • Annette Funicello dedicated a song to him called "Jo Jo the Dog Faced Boy".
  • The band Phish has a song called "Dog-Faced Boy".
  • The heavy metal band Motörhead has a song called "Dog-Face Boy" on the 1995 album Sacrifice.
  • Australian rock band Zoot, featuring Rick Springfield, after having changed their sound to a more heavy rock direction, wrote and recorded "The Freak" in 1970, which was inspired by Jo-Jo; the song explicitly mentions him at the beginning. [2]
  • Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein references Jojo in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel.
  • The video games Blood and Blood II: The Chosen feature references to a sideshow performer named "JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy". Whether this is a deliberate reference to Fedor Jeftichew is not known. Similar references have appeared in other media such as the film Tommy Boy.
  • A character in the webcomic Erfworld is named Jeftichew the Carnymancer ("But call me Jojo.")
  • The band Eels have a song titled "Dog Faced Boy" which appears on the album Souljacker.
  • In Charles Portis' novel, The Dog of the South, the antagonist, Guy Dupree, sometimes signed threatening letters written to the President of the United States, "JoJo the Dog-Faced Boy".
  • Disney based their visual conception of the beast for the film Beauty and the Beast on Jeftichew.[citation needed]
  • In Tom Waits' song "Lucky Day (Overture)" from the album The Black Rider, JoJo is one of the human oddities to be found under the Big Top in Harry's Harbour Bizarre.[3]
  • In the Miranda Lambert song "All Kinds of Kinds", "the dog-faced boy howled out with joy" is one of the lyrics from the first verse.
  • A character based on Jo-Jo (renamed Jim-Jim) was portrayed as the sheriff of a small Florida town in the second season The X-Files episode "Humbug". He obtained the position later in life when he lost much of the hair on his head.[citation needed]
  • In The Greatest Showman, Luciano Acuna Jr. portrayed "Dog Boy"
  • Jeftichew is parodied as "Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Bear" in the Berenstain Bears novel The Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Terrible Talking Termite.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Un monsieur de l'Orchestre, Les Coulisses de l'Homme-Chien, Le Figaro, no 290, 17 octobre 1873, page 3-4
  2. ^ "ZOOT Band | ABOUT". www.zootband.com.au. Retrieved 2019-07-10. ZOOT’s final recording was a Rick Springfield song called ‘The Freak’, which was inspired by a sideshow character, JoJo the Dogface, that Rick’s dad had told him about. It was the most adventurous original recording we had made.
  3. ^ http://www.tomwaitsfan.com/tom%20waits%20library/www.tomwaitslibrary.com/lyrics/theblackrider/luckydayoverture.html

Bibliography

  • Hornberger, Francine. 2005. "Fedor Jeftichew". In Carny folk: the world's weirdest side show acts, pp. 144–145. New York: Citadel.

External links

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