Dai Vernon on “Magic Circus!”

At “The Doug Henning Project” the daily focus is on, rightfully so, Doug Henning. But, for part of this week I’d like to focus on some of the master magicians that taught or influenced Doug in his formative years.

The first on our list is Dai Vernon. If you aren’t aware of him, and how could you not be, then you are in for a treat. Known as “The Man Who Fooled Houdini,” Vernon was a master close-up artist who held court at Los Angeles’s famed “Magic Castle.” It was there that he taught and trained a whole new generation of magicians who affectionately knew him as “The Professor.”

As the story goes, Doug trained under Vernon when he was awarded his coveted $5000 arts grant from the Canadian Arts Council. After sending him a letter from Canada, Vernon accepted his eager student and the two became fast friends. As Dai would later tell talk show host Dick Cavett:

“Doug Henning is a genius at picking up magic quickly. He’s very adept.”

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