Rare First NBC Special Publicity Photo!

Continuing from yesterday’s First Special publicity item, I thought this rarely seen picture of Doug and Julie Newmar might help to bring us all back to a strange and mystical place called the 1970s! Enjoy.

First Special Cover Story

To brighten up our Monday commute, let’s travel back to 1975 and take a look at a great cover story of Doug promoting the first NBC special! Special thanks to David Sigafus for sending me this. I had been trying to find a good image of the cover picture for a while. 

David Charvet’s Doug Henning Photo Collection

In addition to giving a great interview, David also provided me with a trove of pictures illustrating the process in setting up the interview with Doug, a gift Doug gave him, and items from Doug’s memorial service in Beverly Hills. All of these really do paint a unique and touching picture of David’s interactions with Doug…

An Interview with David Charvet: Part Three

Doug Henning died a short six months after David’s interview took place. Their friendship, albeit brief, left a large impact on David’s life. As you will read, all of this came to a touching conclusion at Doug’s rarely talked about memorial service. Do you believe he would have returned to magic? I don’t think he was coming back to do…

An Interview with David Charvet: Part Two

Getting to the interview, can you tell me the backstory on how it came to be? It came completely out of the blue. I was sitting at home one day in early August of 1999 and my phone rang, and when I answered I hear, “Hi David? It’s Doug Henning!” (laughs)… It caught me completely…

An Interview with David Charvet: Part One

All  this week I will be featuring my recent interview with magician and magic designer David Charvet. David, along with being an esteemed magician, has the distinction of conducting the very last and only full length interview that Doug ever did. The story of how that came to be will be revealed in tomorrow’s post….

New York Times 1976 Toy Store Photo

I recently came across this photo originally published in the “New York Times” on November 27, 1976. In light of “The Muppet Show” clip from yesterday, I thought it was more than appropriate to feature it as I close out the week. It features Doug, at what looks like a toy store (FAO Schwarz?), entertaining children….

The Muppets Take Doug Henning!

While I’ve featured a previous clip of Doug’s 1980 appearance on “The Muppet Show,” you really can’t go wrong with Muppets, Muppets, and more Muppets! This clip, in particular, is notable because it gives us a full performance to marvel over and suggests that maybe The Muppets aren’t always the best magic assistants. For unknown reasons,…

TWA Airlines Commercial!

Even magicians have to get to their next location in a hurry! This amusing TWA Airlines television commercial from 1981 showcases Doug’s image in a very smart and funny way. While it wasn’t his only commercial it is, in my opinion, one of the best. Hey, you even get to see Doug in a suit! So,…

The First NBC Special: Houdini’s Water Torture Cell Conclusion

As we reach the end of this legendary moment in magic history, the seconds are counting down and down. Doug, sealed in, begins the almost impossible job of escaping from a seemingly watery grave. Would he make it out alive? Or would 50 million people watch a man drown on live television? All your questions are…

The First NBC Special: Houdini’s Water Torture Cell

What you are about to see are the introduction and preparations for Doug’s Grand Finale of Houdini’s “Water Torture Cell!” After another brief introduction by Gene Kelly and a Houdini history montage, Doug is introduced to a nervous crowd. The suspense is truly over whelming, and there is definitely a “will he or won’t he” feeling throughout the…

The First NBC Special: The Best Bits!

It’s safe to say that everyone that is reading these entries remembers the first special in their own way. The program itself is so crammed with illusions and expert performances that it’s been difficult to decide what to include and what to sadly leave out. After Julie Newmar, the audience is treated to the umbrella and fire…

The First NBC Special: Julie Newmar

After some disappearing and reappearing birds and a little close-up magic with Bill Cosby, Doug gets to the nitty-gritty with this atmospheric box illusion. While shining a light inside and behind, it is revealed that absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing, is inside. Or is there? Ladies and Gentlemen, a totally random and 1970s avante-garde dance routine…

The First NBC Special: Part Two

In watching the special with modern eyes, it’s interesting to note how fresh, energetic, and groundbreaking it all still feels. Rather than doing an opening monologue, Doug dives into one of the things he truly excelled at… close up magic. None of the following scene has any dialogue, and that uniqueness makes it one of my favorite parts of the…

The First NBC Special: Part One

The night was December 26, 1975. Fifty-Million plus people were tuning in live for an NBC worldwide satellite broadcast. The star was a twenty-eight year old magician from Canada that had been taking Broadway and fans by storm in “The Magic Show.” His name, of course, was Doug Henning! Offered a TV special of his own by…

Doug Henning Meet Captain Kangaroo!

“The Doug Henning Project” will be taking a much needed vacation for the remainder of the week and will return rested and wonder-filled this Monday, July 31st. I have something special planned for all of next week, so be sure not to miss it. Until then, enjoy these great clips of Doug on the Captain…

“Magic Show,” Marie Osmond, and More!

As promised here are today’s group of pictures that again range from the making of the “The Magic Show” movie to more of Doug’s NBC specials. Included in the first picture is actress Didi Conn who played Cal, Doug’s love interest in the televised “Magic Show.” Those with eagle-eyes will also probably know her better…

More Never Before Seen Pictures!

Boy do I have a treat for you! Over the next couple days I will be presenting extremely rare and candid shots of Doug and his crew preparing for “The Magic Show” television movie along with various NBC specials.  These photos not only show us the meticulous planning that went into every project, but also…

Alternate “Magic Show” Poster

This phenomenal and eye catching poster for the “Magic Show” television adaptation is truly, pardon the pun, a “wonder.” Rarely seen, it shows a totally different concept than the traditional poster that was used for the Broadway  and television versions.  If anyone has more information on this, where it was used, and the artist please…

“Magic Show” Movie Props!

Today’s images again come from Steve Zigmont’s impressive collection. What you see below are the bottles that the evil magician Van Zyskin uses in his act for “The Magic Show” movie.  Filmed for Canadian television, this version of “The Magic Show” differs from the famed Broadway production. However, it is the only version of the play…

“Electric Company” Cover!

This famous picture taken at New York’s  World Trade Center was for the June, 1976 issue of “The Electric Company Magazine.”  At the time, this feat was billed as the highest levitation attempt in history and was submitted to the “Guinness Book of World Records.” Whether it won or not is anyone’s guess.  However, most…

Martin Short is Doug Henning!!!

  Although a website is based on words, sometimes they’re just not necessary. Enjoy this hilarious clip of Martin Short as Doug from 1985’s appropriately named “Martin Short Comedy Special!” Special Thanks to Willy Cheyenne.

Doug and The Washington Post: Part Three

“The Spellbound World of Doug Henning” By Richard Harrington June 9, 1982 The Heir to Houdini Henning is spending this week at Merriweather Post Pavilion with one of the last road shows he’ll be doing for a while. All his time and energy are going into “Merlin,” which he describes as a 6-year-old project about…

Doug and The Washington Post: Part Two

“The Spellbound World of Doug Henning” by Richard Harrington June 9, 1982 After graduation from college with a degree in physiological psychology, Henning traveled all over Canada and the United States searching out masters who could teach a young Doug old tricks; post-graduate work included opening for Canadian rock groups. He soon found backers for…

Doug and The Washington Post

I just came across this treat of a “Washington Post” interview I think everyone will enjoy. It was published on June 9, 1982 and takes place right before Doug was winding down touring to concentrate on the creation of “Merlin.” Compared to other interviews I’ve read it really delves deeply into Doug’s thoughts on the…

Never Before Published Photos!

These AMAZING photos of Doug and Debby were taken between 1983-1984. Never before published, they give us a rare and candid look at their stage shows from the front row. However, I’m not really sure how the tiger felt about his picture being taken.  Special thanks to Steve Zigmont.

Doug, Mars, and the North Pole

  This rare newspaper article is notable for a number of reasons. Mainly, it profiles Doug and his then partner, Mars Barrick, embarking on their fabled 1971 journey to perform for Canadian Armed Forces 200 miles from the North Pole. The “Snowball Safari,” as it was called, featured 25 entertainers and it was here that Doug’s…

“Merlin” at the Tonys!

It’s a Merlin kind of Monday here at “The Doug Henning Project!” In my You Tube travels, I came across this excellent musical clip from the 1983 Tony Awards featuring the “It’s About Magic” number from Merlin.  As with all things “Merlin,” whenever you find any scenes from the show it’s a rarity. So, please…

Backstage Pass!

This item was sent to me recently by Steve Zigmont. It was taken from the backstage wall at the Fox Theater in St. Louis. Normally with touring shows it is common for every production to leave a drawing or stencil as a permanent reminder that they were there. However, the year of this drawing and…

Lifestyles of the Rich and Doug!

Today I thought I’d feature a four minute vintage clip of Doug and Debby on the classic 1980s program “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” What’s cool about it is that it gives us a glimpse not only into Doug’s home, but his famed workshop where many of his illusions were developed.  Also, what I…

Vanish Magic Magazine

I just wanted to let everyone know that the new July 2017 issue of “Vanish Magic Magazine” features a long form article written by yours truly about, you guessed it, Doug Henning. The article has tons of great pictures and delves into the history of Doug along with my reasons for starting “The Doug Henning…

Houdini: His Legend and His Magic Part Four

For our last round of pictures I wanted to focus on the excellent chapter “Houdini in Color.” What we have here are wonderful and bold color plates that really spring to life from the page. It’s my favorite chapter, and I suspect I may not be the only one! I thought it was more than appropriate to end with…

Houdini: His Legend and His Magic Part Three

The following represents some of the best items in the book in terms candid shots of Houdini and Bess, formal portraits, and newspaper coverage of Houdini’s death in 1926. It’s also refreshing to see Bess and Harry as they really were on vacation and away from the spotlight. Upon seeing them for the first time as…