This creatively worded advertisement was for the final live “World of Magic” special. Originally broadcast on December 14, 1978, this special was plagued by numerous issues, not least of which was a tiger escaping through the halls of NBC . However, none of this chaos was visible to the holiday audiences at home, and from that point on all of Doug’s specials were pre-recorded.
In the end, all of this proves that tigers and live television may not be the best of bedfellows.
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Doug explained to those gathered at the Passport to Magic convention that when they practiced the Tiger illusion the tigers were very complacent. So much so that, unbeknownst to Doug, the stagehands put animal blood onto Doug’s costume so the tigers would ‘attack’ when the time came. In addition, for the day of the shoot, the tigers were not fed.
About half way through the telecast, one of the tigers got loose and proceeded to lunch on the menagerie of small animals that were to be used in the epilogue. All of this occurred while Doug was in front of the camera so when the finale came and the tigers were put in the trick with Doug, he was a bit ‘surprised’ to see blood on one of tiger’s mouths!
After the finale, during commercial, they had to come up with a plan to produce the menagerie of smaller animal – most of which were now gone. They decided to recycled them.
If you watch the show closely, Doug produces the first couple of animals and hands them to off camera assistants. They then ran around behind the set and put them through to be produced again! It was the same half-dozen animals over and over.