2015 Spellbound Book Review

Spellbound: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning (Book Review) By Mark Williams Spellbound: The Wonder-Filled Life of Doug Henning takes a look at the life and times of Master Illusionist, Doug Henning. It truly is a fantastic book by author, John Harrison. The book was originally released at “Magic Live!” in 2009. I can tell…

Rare Transcendental Meditation Commercial

While this clip is incredibly grainy and with terrible audio, I think it’s important to show. As many of you know, Transcendental Meditation was a very important part of Doug’s life. He found it in the very early days of his career as a calming method for his nerves, and over time it was a dominating…

Seeking Article Submissions!

Welcome back everyone! So, here we are after 4 1/2 months and the website is still going strong. Can you believe it’s even approaching the 100th post?  Anyway, I wanted to reach out to you the readers of “The Doug Henning Project” for article submissions! If you any ideas for Doug based articles please write…

Henning on Houdini Radio Interview

This audio clip comes courtesy of John Cox’s fabulous Wild About Harry website. In this radio interview from 1980, Doug discusses the first television special and the intense preparations that went into his escape from Houdini’s Water Torture Cell.  While it’s brief, it gives the listener a peek into Doug’s rehearsal process and the mystery…

Genii Wedding Cover Story

Straight from the archives comes this January, 1982 “Genii” cover story of Doug’s wedding to Debby Douilard. The article is notable for featuring many unknown details of the ceremony that took place at the Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa on December 6, 1982. This was Doug’s second marriage, and as they say, the rest…

Crystal Gale Special 1979

  Well, aren’t we on a television special roll this week? I particularly enjoyed this clip from a 1979 Crystal Gale television special because it sort of serves as a best of Doug Henning all wrapped up into one.  Granted, a lot of these illusions had been seen on Doug’s previous specials, but the lighting…

NBC’s Night of 100 Stars

Enjoy this clip of Doug assisted by a young Ricky Schroder and a not quite so young Maureen Stapleton. For those who don’t know, “The Night of 100 Stars” was an NBC event with, you guessed it, 100 stars of film and television. Doug, star # 69, performs his classic illusion sawing two women in…

1978 NBC Promo

What better way to start your Monday than with a Doug Henning 1978 NBC Promo?

Chicago Tribune Interview Conclusion

Well here we are. I’ve particularly enjoyed this article for Doug’s musings on the past, present, and future of magic as he saw it at that time. If you have any thoughts please drop me a line. See you next time! Doug Henning Pulls New Secrets From His Hat To Hold Off Competition By Larry…

Chicago Tribune Interview: Part Two

Welcome back! For our second round, the article delves a little more in depth into Doug’s views on current magic and, in particular, David Copperfield’s recent Statue of Liberty disappearance trick! Enjoy. Doug Henning Pulls New Secrets From His Hat To Hold Off Competition By Larry Cart Blowing minds has, of course, always been the…

Chicago Tribune Interview: Part One

In my internet travels I came across this fascinating Chicago Tribune interview from June 16, 1985. In it, Doug speaks of holding off the encroaching competition with new ideas and illusions. I really enjoyed the article, and I think you will too.  Doug Henning Pulls New Secrets From His Hat To Hold Off Competition By…

Doug’s Memorial Book: Part 2

As you look at the following pictures, it easy to note how much Doug affected people and continues to do so today. It certainly is a testament to what he accomplished in his short, but prolific life.    Back Cover

Doug’s Memorial Book

Over the next couple days or so, I’m going to be posting pictures of the book that was presented to attendees of Doug’s memorial service which was held on February 20th, 2000 at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles. For more in depth information on this event please refer to Part Three of my interview…

Doug and the Origami Illusion!

While it has indeed been a light couple weeks of posts (unfortunately I went from one sickness to another), I haven’t forgotten you dear reader.  I’ve been holding onto this fantastic clip for a while now, and what a clip it is! Doug, appearing on the short-lived “Joan Rivers Show,” performs Jim Steinmeyer’s famed “Origami…

First Special Altered Poster

While I still recuperate I wanted to slowly get back into the swing of things with this first special newspaper ad from the Chicago Tribune. What’s unique about this particular piece is that the list of guest stars is updated to reflect who would actually be on the show. There are other color versions of…

Please Stand By…

Due to a rather severe bout of food poisoning, “The Doug Henning Project” will be on a short hiatus. I’ll be back up again next week.  See you soon!

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…