People Magazine Interview: Part Three

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.3) He stuck with magic. In 1973, he borrowed $5,000 from his mother and, with a friend, launched a rock musical-cum-magic show called Spellbound in Toronto. That led to his role in The Magic Show. Though one critic hailed him…

People Magazine Interview: Part Two

After Falling Under the Spell of Wife Debby, Doug Henning Hopes to Charm Broadway Again (Part.2) “My friends said there was practically a flash of light,” says Henning, 35. “I had never felt anything like it in my whole life.” The dazzler was Debby Douillard, 27, an abstract painter with bottomless blue eyes who was…

People Magazine Interview: Part One

In doing some online research I came across this fascinating article from the December 20, 1982 issue of “People” magazine. The interview is notable for two reasons. For one it was written as “Merlin” was just about to open on Broadway, and the other being that it delves into Doug’s new marriage to Debby Douillard (Henning) and the…

Coming to Providence!

I love this vintage 1986 commercial not only for its obvious camp value, but for the fact that it gives you a glimpse into Doug’s touring productions and promotions. It’s a great commercial in the sense that it’s most likely one of a few he used as he moved from town to town. It’s also…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine: Pictures

What a treat these pictures are! Flipping through the magazine, I was taken aback at how rare some of these shots are, especially of “The Magic Show” itself.  For those with an eagle-eye, yes that is not Doug in the title role. By that point Doug had left the show for greener television and touring…

Houdini’s Magic Magazine

To round out another great week I’m going to be featuring Doug’s appearance in the August, 1977 issue of “Houdini’s Magic Magazine.” The magazine itself ran from August 1977 to March 1978, and in that time it featured many of the top magic stories and artists of the day. Doug was no exception, and the history…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind: Part Three

“The date was October 9th, 1985. This was after a show they did at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, outside the stage door. I asked one of his crew after the show if I might meet Doug and get his autograph. The guy very snobily said “Mr. Henning sees no one at any…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind: Part Two

Today’s story comes from Thom Tyre of Tsawwassen, B.C., It paints a rare picture of a young Doug in his high school years.  “I went to high school with Doug (OTHS) and we were attending a teen house party with a number of friends. Doug offered to do a couple of illusions, and I volunteered to…

Close Encounters of the Doug Kind

One of the great parts of running this website are the stories I have been sent via e-mail or Facebook from people that knew Doug. These first hand accounts really open him up in a way that magazine articles, You Tube clips, or books can not.  So, for part of the week I’d like to…

Vault Treasures: Part Two

Welcome back for a just as exciting Part 2 as we continue to look at Steve Zigmont’s collection featuring many items from Doug’s famed NBC specials. Enjoy!

Vault Treasures: Part One

Not long ago retired magician and current effects specialist Steve Zigmont was generous enough to share with me pictures from his extensive collection of “Henning-ana!” Is that a word? Well, it is now. So, if you’ve ever wondered where some of Doug most priceless costumes, props, and posters ended up you are in for a…

Tell Your Stories!

Since starting this website I’ve had many people write me with their personal recollections of meeting Doug. I’ve even been sent many rare and unpublished photos. So, all this has made me think that “The Doug Henning Project” should devote a future week to people’s Doug stories. So, do you have a personal story to…

Merlin Mania!

What you are about to see are two very rough, but very cool commercials for the original production of  “Merlin! As mentioned before, Merlin was Doug’s 1982 follow-up to “The Magic Show.” Directed by his old college mate Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Stripes, Twins), the show boasted huge production values and illusions. Starring in the title role, Doug led…

The Magic of Minolta!

While not a television appearance in the traditional sense, this 1978 Minolta commercial highlights Doug in a different light: A commercial pitchman!  Aside from its obvious kitsch value, the commercial shows how much of a name Doug was at that time. Think about it. Have you ever really seen a magician before or since be a…

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….