Fedor Jeftichew (Russian: Фёдор 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 by P.T. Barnum.
Born in St. Petersburg, 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.
In popular culture
- Annette Funicello dedicated a song to him called "Jojo the dogfaced 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''.
- Science Fiction writer Robert Heinlein references Jojo in Have Spacesuit, Will Travel.
- The video games Blood and Blood II: The Chosen have 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.
- In Tom Waits' song "Lucky Day (Overture)" from The Black Rider, JoJo is one of the human oddities to be found under the Big Top in Harry's Harbour Bizarre.
- In 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 "The X-Files" episode "Humbug (The X-Files)" in season two. He obtained the position later in life when he lost much of the hair on his head.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fedor Jeftichew.|
- Hornberger, Francine. 2005. "Fedor Jeftichew". In Carny folk: the world's weirdest side show acts, pp. 144–145. New York: Citadel.