Henning “Animaniacs” Appearance

Welcome back from Thanksgiving folks! Did you know that Doug Henning appeared on Steven Spielberg’s beloved 90s cartoon series “Animaniacs?’ Or more to the point, a suspiciously Doug like character named “Merlin!” To be truthful, I haven’t seen this episode before. But, if I were a betting man, I’d say someone on that writing staff…

Unseen Merlin Production Publicity Photos

These pictures were given to me by writer Michelle Ainsworth and really showcase the scope and scale of “Merlin” very nicely. The top color photo was taken by photographer Peter Cunningham and is a real stunner if you ask me. While there is no documentation as to who took the second photo, I suspect it…

Vintage “Hendoo” For Hire Advertisement

This unique and very rare advertisement is from a time where a young Doug Henning was known as “Hendoo” and he hadn’t taken the world by sensation.  Not yet anyway. Rather than just doing a straight classified, Doug employed this nifty visual to draw potential customers in. Do you see it? Look one way and…

Merv Griffin Show- Chita Rivera Performing “Merlin”

Finding existing performance clips of “Merlin” is a lot like finding Sasquatch or seeing a UFO. They tend to be very fleeting, and you have to look hard.  Well, as luck would have it I recently came across this excerpt from the “Merv Griffin Show” where Chita Rivera performs “I Can Make it Happen.” As…

Original “Magic Show” Set Design Sketch

The above piece comes from Henning admirer Glen Henry and is a real rare piece of Broadway history.  It’s not often that you find a production sketch from the original version of “The Magic Show” at a small store in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. But that, my friends, is exactly what happened. How it ended…

We Need You!

Just putting a general call out there that “The Doug Henning Project” is always actively looking for new content for the site. Whether that involves items from collections, general memorabilia, rare photos, newspaper clippings, or anything else you can think of, I’d love to post it. One of the joys for me with the site…

Wild About Harry: Doug and Houdini Article

For those jonesing for a Houdini/Doug fix this Saturday, may I divert your attention to today’s post on John Cox’s excellent website “Wild About Harry.” It delves into the impetus for John’s lifelong love of Houdini which is…well, visit the website to find out if you haven’t guessed already.  While you’re there stay a while…

NY Times: World of Magic Broadway Review

Doug Henning only seems to dema terialize – and re-materialize – and levitation is a mechanical rather than a natural wonder. But it is beyond the ken of nonmagicians to understand how he performs his illusionary feats. As we know from his first two Broadway shows and his frequent television appearances, he is a genial…

Doug Henning: Birthday Performer?

The above newspaper clipping shows evidence that, yeah, if you had enough money Doug Henning would perform at your birthday party. Now, I have no pictures or evidence to corroborate that all the illusions described here occurred. However, if you look up Adnan Khashoggi online he was a pretty wealthy man. So wealthy in fact,…

Steve Cohen Interview: Final Part

Let’s talk about your graphic novel, “The Millionaires Magician,” how did that start? Well, you already know the answer. The answer is Doug Henning… Yeah. You’ll never believe it but when I was a little boy, about eight or nine years old, I used to draw my own comic books. One of the cartoon characters…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part Three

Is there anything that you may have gleaned from Doug when you were younger that you may take with you in your own act? I would say his obvious glee and real love for his magic. Also, the obvious glee and love that he turned outward toward his audience. Doug was not performing for himself;…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part Two

Can you talk about the two times you saw Doug perform live? For this interview, I dug out two ticket stubs from my collection. One of them is for “Merlin” on February 23, 1983. The other ticket was for “Doug Henning’s World of Magic” on Saturday, December 22, 1984. I vividly remember going to “Doug…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part One

Over this week, I will be featuring an interview I conducted recently with acclaimed New York magician Steve Cohen. Steve is very well known in the magic and entertainment communities for his must-see show “Chamber Magic.” This intimate evening harkens back to magic salons of the past, and over the last twenty years has become…

Things that Go Bump in the Night-Magic Show Version

In his career, Doug did many versions of the famed illusion “Things that Go Bump in the Night.” While I have posted this illusion from the TV specials before, this version comes from the early 80s made for TV “Magic Show.” It’s a fun and lively version that is sure to send you into the…

1995 “Skeptical Inquirer” Article

The following article comes from the May/June 1995 issue of the well known magazine “The Skeptical Inquirer.” In it, writer Martin Gardner analyzes Doug’s devotion to Transcendental Mediation, its purported benefits, and “Veda Land.” I had weighed whether to publish this or not as the article is primarily one-sided. But, in the end I like…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Three

All Photos by Ken Duncan These photos are copyrighted by the New York Public Library’s Billy Rose Theater Division. Any unauthorized usage of those for profit or personal promotion is in violation of copyright laws.

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Two

Let’s do it again shall we folks? I have to say I’m really loving this collection of photos. What strikes me the most about them is that their electricity and energy truly make you feel as if you’re in the Cort Theater’s front row circa 1974. As these pictures prove, the production itself was sparse and…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show

The following photos come from the photo archive of the New York Public Library, and represent some incredibly rare and unseen photos that haven’t seen the light of day in 35 years. This is it folks, the start of Doug’s Broadway career in crisp and glorious black and white. Taken by photographer Kenn Duncan between 1974-1975,…

Doug and Debby Veda Land Promotional Photo

The above photo comes from an article primarily focusing on the Maharishi and his practices. However, for today’s post I decided to focus on the most interesting part…Doug and Debby unique publicity photo. Aside from the model of “Veda Land” itself, the photo has an interesting mirror effect as its backdrop. However, if you look…

Candada 150: Doug Pop Art Portrait!

The above art is called “Jumpsuits and Mullets,” and was made in conjunction with 2017’s “Canada 150” celebration . This year long event commemorated, you guessed it, Canada’s 150th birthday. The work itself is  acrylic on wood panel and, if you’re like me, it’s now your wallpaper on your smart phone.  The artist, Dan Springer,…

Doug Henning’s World of Instagram: Unseen Chita Rivera Photo

The above photo comes from the National Portrait Gallery’s Instagram account (@smitsoniannpg). It goes without saying that this photo features Chita Rivera in her role as the evil Queen in “Merlin.” Taken in a dressing room, this picture really showcases the beautiful and detailed costuming that was prevalent in the production as a whole. Even in…

Doug’s Henning’s World of Instagram: Merlin Marquee

The world wide web isn’t the only place to uncover rare Doug treasures. Instagram also has some nuggets waiting quietly to be discovered. The above picture comes from @bygonebroadway, and show’s the original “Merlin” marquee in all its glory. I personally had never seen this photo before, and was struck by how thirty-seven years its…

Criss Angel Doug Tribute

The last person you would probably expect to be a Doug fan is Criss Angel. Yeah, that Criss Angel. While their stage personas couldn’t be more dissimilar, this video clip from 2010’s “Mindfreak” proves that Criss Angel will go to any length to show his devotion to the man, the myth, the Henning.  Any length…

“Magic Magazine” 2000 Doug Tribute Issue: Part One

I remembered recently that I had promised some months ago to feature both tribute issues from “Genii” and “Magic” from the time of Doug’s passing. As I’m a man of my word, here is the March, 2000 issue of “Magic.” I’ve always been struck by the simplicity and elegance of this cover. By featuring Doug being…