Half Man Short E. Dangerously

Short E. Dangerously has traveled the globe, wowing audiences with acrobatic feats, fire-breathing, and glass-walking—on his hands!

“When I set [the glass] on fire before I jump into it, that’s when people are the most shocked, the most in disbelief. I’ve actually seen a woman crying as I get ready to jump off the chair into the pile that’s on fire; she was right in front of me and she was literally crying because she was so afraid for me.”

half man Short E. Dangerously

Starting out with Ward Hall’s World of Wonders, Short E. now travel’s full-time with the Hellzapoppin sideshow.

He was two years old when a condition led to the amputation of both his legs. Short E.’s “half-man” sideshow status can be attributed to the legendary Johnny Eck, an early twentieth-century performer who was also billed as a “half-man.” Eck was famous in his day, and even performed at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.

“Johnny is a personal hero of mine. He paved the way for guys like me. I hope to live up to his legacy and surpass it at the same time. I know that he never did fire breathing or glass walking or any of that stuff. But back in those days being an oddity and a freak—that was enough and now it’s not enough. You’ve got to be a performer, too. You’ve got to have a skill set. You’ve got to have the personality, the charisma and stage presence.”

short e. dangerously and johnny eck

Short E. Dangerously (left), Johnny Eck (right)