Metamorphosis!

The above clip comes from the filmed and retooled version of “The Magic Show.” Shot in 1981, this version for television changed songs and even took some out. But, it is the only filmed version of the musical, and the only way to experience it today.  The illusion in question needs no introduction! Doug’s version…

Pantages Performance Memorabilia!

The above item comes from the collection of  John Cox (Wild About Harry), and gives us a glimpse of the promotion and ticketing of Doug’s 1981 performances at the Pantages. John himself was at one of these shows,  and as he told “The Doug Henning Project” last year: “It was amazing. I wish I had…

1981 Pantages Performance Poster

At “The Doug Henning Project,” I always love a piece of good Doug merchandise and today’s entry is no exception. What you see above is the poster from Doug’s legendary 1981 run of shows at Hollywood’s famed “Pantages Theater.” The theater, like Doug himself, is very indicative of its times. Its old Hollywood glitz and…

Muppet Show Glittered Overalls

So totally by chance I posted the above picture in the banner of yesterday’s post. It’s from the opener of Doug’s guest appearance on “The Muppet Show.” You remember how those went right? (15 seconds to curtain Mr. Henning). Anyway, yesterday’s collector Michael Whitecar  quickly sent me another item from his collection that on closer…

Original Spark Costume

One of my favorite pictures of Doug comes from late in his career and is featured above. It’s very simple and to the point and, in a way, sums up his whole persona to me. In fact, I like it so much I use it for my “Contact” page here on the site.  So, you…

Larsen on Henning: Part Three (Revisited)

Is there an illusion for you that stands out as a personal favorite? I don’t think there’s any particular thing. His showmanship and some of the illusions he did on his shows were really old stock illusions. But, the way he did them and the approach to it he did them all in his own…

Larsen on Henning: Part Two (Revisited)

In part two of our interview, Milt Larsen discusses Doug as a person, the magic community’s reaction to him, and the impact Broadway’s  legendary”The Magic Show” had on the craft as a whole. Milt take it away… It’s been said that his enthusiasm for life and his work always bubbled up at the surface. What were your…

Larsen on Henning: Part One (Revisited)

Believe it or not, this May will be the one year anniversary of “The Doug Henning Project.” So, in honor of that occasion I thought it would be fun if I reprint the first four interviews that launched the very first month of the site. I’ll be doing this once a month, leading up to…

The Sands of Egypt Footage

As we round out the week what better way to say goodbye than with the classic “Sands of Egypt” from “Word of Magic I?” The illusion is deceptive in its simpleness, and plays extremely well into the excitement of the evening. This excitement, in my opinion, is what makes this special so wonderful. The live…

A Planetary Publicity Photo!

So to wrap things up with our vintage publicity photo series we have a beaut! I mean, really, how could you go wrong with this one?  From the hoop, to the floating sash, to Doug’s futuristic time traveler outfit, it’s all there and more. Wait before I forget, is that Saturn clipped to his shirt?…

Christmas in February Photo!

It’s Christmas in February in today’s entry! I personally remember this picture from John Harrison’s excellent 2009 biography “Spellbound,” however I’ve never actually seen it in color. No one could argue that Doug utilized the color palette in a way like no magician before him, and this photo is no exception.  So, Merry Christmas and Happy…

Bubbles, Overalls, and a Publicity Photo!

This picture exists for no other reason than to make you smile and laugh…in no particular order. It’s pure Doug from the colorful attire to his ever present enthusiasm. Who knew juggling bubbles could be so much fun? I wonder where this costume is today? Does anybody out there know?

Motorcycle Photo Monday!

And we’re back? How’d your weekend go?  I recently purchased some classic publicity photos of Doug that I’ll be featuring for part of the week. Now I know some of you have probably seen these before, but the color and quality of them are so good I had to share.  So, without further ado enjoy…

Jim Henson’s Diary Entry for “The Muppet Show”

Jim’s Henson’s “Red Book” was a frequent log/diary he used to highlight notable events and happenings in his busy and creative life. As you can tell from the above date, February 4, 1980 was no exception. For this was the date that production began on Doug Henning’s episode of “The Muppet Show.” I’ve written before…

First Special “Torn Newspaper” Routine

Yesterday’s clip was a lot of fun wasn’t it? Continuing on in that vein why don’t we take  a look at Doug’s presentation of Gene Anderson’s famed “Torn Newspaper” illusion.  Doug’s enthusiasm combined with his expert handling of this illusion make for one of the most simple looking, but most memorable parts of the first…

Houdini Torture Cell Escape in Full

Clips from 1975’s “World of Magic 1” are a rarity on the internet. For some reason, every other one of Doug’s specials are available to find if you know where to look. But, “World of Magic 1” remains elusive at best…at least online (if you catch my meaning.)   It’s a shame really because in my…

Looking for Brian Lumley

Hello All,  As we approach our one year mark, I’ve been looking to expand our interviews for the website. At this point I am very interested in speaking with one of Doug’s long term collaborators and friend Brian Lumley.  If anyone has any contact information for him I’d be greatly appreciative. Please privately contact me…

Morning Show Costume Needs Your Help!

This picture was recently sent to me by Doug collector John Anthony Sterlini. Eagle-Eyed readers may remember it as the one that Doug was wearing when he guest hosted the Detroit morning show “Kelly and Co.” with his wife Debby.  If any readers have pictures or know of any other time Doug was seen wearing…

The Return of Fridays with Doug!

This vintage “World of Magic II” newspaper advertisement comes courtesy of John Cox’s collection. It’s a great piece and it really shows off the spectacle of the special and the era very well.  My personal favorite element is that Doug appears ten times larger than the elephant itself and his right hand, well, graphic design…

“The Magic Show” and “Merlin” Songbooks

Out of the blue this week I received these wonderful pictures from Doug fan Frank Simpson. As you probably gathered, they are the songbooks for the original productions of “The Magic Show” and “Merlin.” While “The Magic Show” did have an official soundtrack, “Merlin” did not. So items like these are even more important as…

Ricky Jay on “World of Magic II”

Doug’s friendship with esteemed magician Ricky Jay came to the forefront when Jay appeared on “World of Magic II” in 1976. The segment highlights Jay’s great skill at close up-magic and, of course, card throwing.  In the years since, Jay’s reputation has only grown and grown, especially with his play “Ricky Jay and his 52…

Toronto Star Article Sept. 1985

In the fine tradition of mid-1980s Doug interviews why don’t we do another one? This September 1985 piece hails from the Toronto Star and showcases some really nice action shots of Doug performing a handkerchief illusion. How about that 1980s skinny tie by the way?        

Letterman’s Top Ten List

To my knowledge Doug never appeared as a guest on NBC’s famed “Late Night with David Letterman.” However, that didn’t stop Letterman from including Doug in his nightly “Top Ten” list.  So, sit back, relax, and wait with bated breath for magic number 5! Special Thanks to Steven Max Droge  

Doug Henning, Cat Stevens, and Michael Jackson!

Sprinkled among this Toronto Sun article from 1985, are some things you may have heard of or read before. However, if you look closely there are some really unheard of tidbits about Doug designing for rock concerts and his friendship with Michael Jackson. Doug also discusses the state of modern movie effects versus stage illusions. As…

Saturday Night Henning!

  What better way to spend a Wednesday than with a vintage “Saturday Night Live” clip featuring Doug Henning? Well, maybe not the Doug we all know and love, but he’s called Doug Henning nonetheless.  Over the course SNL, two people were notable for their Doug impressions in the 1980s: Martin Short and comedian Rich…

Al Hirschfeld Meet Doug Henning

This New York Times article was conducted for the opening of “Merlin.” It’s a great read as you would expect, however the highlight is surely the Al Hirschfeld drawing that opens it. Doug was no stranger to Hirschfeld’s famed pen and pencil after having been previously featured in Hirschfeld’s art for “The Magic Show.” In fact,…

Doug and Debby: Morning Show Hosts!

Who’s up for a Detroit morning show from the 80s with Doug and Debby as fill in hosts?  I’m not sure exactly the history of Kelly and Co. or even how Doug and Debby wound up hosting it. But, every time I think I’ve seen everything there is to see about Doug on You Tube…

Performance Costumes for Sale!

Hey All! “Doug Henning Project” friend Paul Driscoll has asked me to post more items for sale from his great collection. Boy are they unique! As usual, I am only posting the item as a favor for Paul. Please contact him directly at the email provided to discuss details. Take it away Paul! I have…

Artifacts from the Dan Sclare Collection

In our continuing effort to bring the world as much Doug memorabilia as possible here are some nifty items from Doug fan Dan Sclare’s collection. Each one represents a different point in Doug’s career, and really shows how merchandise savvy he could be in terms of product placement for himself and other companies.  If only…