The Tonight Show

Not everyone knows that Johnny Carson was a huge lover of magic. As a teen it was his original gateway into show business, and as the years went on he never hesitated to have a variety of magicians on the now legendary “Tonight Show.” Doug was no exception to this rule.  The ” Walking Through the Mirror” illusion was…

Doug and Dai

This particular clip, taken from the CBC Archives, seems to be one of the few filmed examples of Dai Vernon teaching Doug. The two had become close friends when Doug traveled from Canada to train with Vernon after being awarded his legendary $5000 performing arts government grant. Their lessons, which took place at “The Magic Castle,”…

Doug on “The Muppet Show!”

For most stars of the 1970s and 80s, it was almost mandated that they appear on Jim Henson’s iconic series “The Muppet Show!” Doug was no exception and, according to John Harrison’s biography “Spellbound,” he took great excitement that Jim Henson called him personally to request he appear.  The appearance is notable in that it…

The Five Days of Doug!

The last month of “The Doug Henning Project has been about people that knew, worked with, and admired Doug! Well, since there has been so much talking about Doug, I thought it would be more than appropriate to have Doug do the talking for himself.  Over this week I’ll be highlighting some of Doug’s best television appearances….

Pick a Card, any Card!

To cap off the week I thought I’d share this very unique and rare find that a fan from Doug’s hometown of Oakville, Ontario recently sent me. It’s one of Doug’s original business cards from that era, and I feel what really makes it stand out (apart from its historical value) is that Doug refers…

John Cox: Part Four

What was your reaction at the time to his retirement from magic and his surprising death in 2000? I don’t remember it being an announced thing. It was just Doug Henning seemed to have drifted away, and David Copperfield had kind of replaced him as far as the annual television shows…But, at some point it…

John Cox: Part Three

How do you think he bridged the gap between the magicians of old and the superstar ones we have today? Well he was the true bridge. You wonder would it have happened without him?…Doug Henning understood magic and the history of magic. So, he knew what principals worked and re-introduced them. He did an amazing…

John Cox: Part Two

How important do you feel “The Magic Show” was to the audience’s appreciation of magic? Doug Henning brought magic back to Broadway and back to legitimate theater…So, it really was “The Magic Show” that re-introduced the world to grand illusion…I wish I would have seen it…When you read about it, it was a good mix…

John Cox: Part One

For a few weeks now we have been talking with people that worked with Doug. But, “The Doug Henning Project” wanted to get Doug from a fan’s perspective, and what better fan than John Cox? John runs the very popular Houdini website “Wild About Harry,” and his knowledge and love of Doug were evident as…

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

“The Doug Henning Project” is planning to review a number of Doug’s NBC television specials! While many are available on You Tube, the very first “Doug Henning’s World of Magic” appears to not be. As many of you know, this is the most famous one of all where Doug recreates Houdini’s infamous “Water Torture Cell” on live television. …

John Gaughan: Part Four

What was your reaction to when he gave up performing? John Gaughan: Well, he was always stopping performing…He only wanted to work for a couple weeks on the road and then come back and rest for four weeks…Doug didn’t care too much about money and then the transcendental meditation kind of overtook it. Then he…

John Gaughan: Part 3

Is there an illusion that you designed for him that is a highlight? John Gaughan: Well, they were all kind of wonderful things to play with. The big Japanese warrior that came to life (in Merlin) was a lot of fun, and I remember bringing that thing in because that was one of the last…

John Gaughan: Part Two

Why do you think “Merlin” isn’t looked up on as being as successful as “The Magic Show” was? John Gaughan: I think in reality it was more successful. The problem was you had a bigger theater and the cost at that time was close $275,000 per week. Then Doug didn’t have a lot of stamina…

John Gaughan: Part One

This week we have another treat in store for you with one of the art form’s most prominent and respected designers: John Gaughan. For over fifty years, John has been delighting audiences with his work for such artists as Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, David Blaine, Criss Angel, Mark Wilson, and Ricky Jay. However, most…

Friday with Doug

What better way to spend your Friday than with some totally random, but spectacular pictures of Doug doing what he did best? Join us next week for our extended round table interview with legendary magic designer John Gaughan and friends.  See you then!

Jim Steinmeyer: Part Four

The closing part of our interview with Jim covers an interesting, overlooked, and ultimately bittersweet time in the life of Doug. After retreating from the spotlight for many years, Doug had returned to Los Angeles with a seemingly renewed sense of vigor and love of magic. What this may or may not have lead to…

Jim Steinmeyer: Part Three

What was your reaction the news that he was retiring from magic? It was a really difficult situation…We had wind of it. Doug was spending a lot of time with TM stuff…and we had no idea what would happen to the company…Doug would go “No, no, no I’m really working.” He was kind of sending…

Jim Steinmeyer: Part Two

What were your impressions of Doug’s as a person? The thing about it was that that was 100% him. He didn’t come offstage and put on a three-piece suit, put his feet up, smoke cigars, and say “Hey, what do you think of this hippy look? What do you think I should be doing?” There…

Jim Steinmeyer: Part One

For many in the world of magic the name Jim Steinmeyer conjures up  fantastical visions of some of the greatest illusions of all time. As one of the industry’s premier designers, he is the man behind David Copperfield’s Statue of Liberty disappearance, Disney Theatrical’s “Mary Poppins” and “Aladdin,” and countless other iconic illusions for top magicians throughout…

From The Magic Castle:

In the spirit of Milt Larsen, Doug, and “The Magic Castle,” please enjoy a selection of pictures highlighting some memorable moments over the last 54 years!