World of Magic ’75: Water Torture Cell Finale in Full

Folks, as I teased earlier in the week, this is it! I present to you what is probably the most famous moment in Doug’s career, Houdini’s Water Torture Cell. Fifty million people tuned in live to watch the finale to Doug’s first special. To say they got their money’s worth was an understatement! It’s worth…

“World of Magic ’75:” Gene Kelly Intro

 By starting the week with this particular clip, I’m sure  you’ll suspect what I’ll be eventually leading up to.  “World of Magic 1975” originally aired on December 26, 1975. Originally, Orson Welles was meant to greet the viewers standing side by side with Houdini’s Water Torture Cell.  However, for various reasons Welles pulled a vanishing…

Magic Week: World of Magic 1980

The fine online folks at the Magic Week Archive have chosen to feature Doug’s “World of Magic 1980” for its weekly feature. Presented on NBC in 1980, this special was taped at the Osmond Entertainment Center in Utah. Along for the ride are, of course, Marie Osmond, Shields & Yarnell, and Ricky Schroeder.   As noted,…

World of Magic ’77: Walking Through a Brick Wall in Full

Hey Everyone! Happy Tuesday.  Do you ever get that feeling we all get when you’ve hit your wall so early in the week waiting for Friday? Well, if that’s the case, why don’t you take a breather with this famous clip of Doug literally walking through a brick wall? This breathtaking event occurred as the…

World of Magic 75: The Sands of Egypt in Full

Similar to the Sands of Egypt themselves, I will be drifting away to Northern California over the coming week. I won’t be able to get back to posts until next Tuesday. But, I wanted to leave you with this classic clip from “World of Magic ’75” to pass the time until then.  Enjoy! Original Air…

World of Magic 75: Shimada Appearance in Full

I thought I’d mix things up a bit today, and have a Doug related clip that doesn’t exactly feature Doug.  You see, Doug would sometimes have other performers on his specials to balance things off. In his first special, he featured the eminent Shimada in a unique five minute segment all unto his own. Hailing…

World of Magic 1978: Camel Appearance in Full

The above appearance was from Doug’s fourth “World of Magic” special in 1978. The special itself features co-hosts Brooke Shields and Tom Bosley accompanying Doug on a whirlwind journey through time, space, and various international countries. While some moments in the special may not hold up well viewed through a 21st-century eye, it definitely features…

“World of Magic 1976” Opening Illusions in Full

What more can I really say to add onto this clip? The number of illusions crammed into this, along with the sheer 1970s variety show feel of it all speak for itself. Also, how many times in your life have you wanted to conjure up a slightly bewildered Michael Landon? Next time you see modern…

“World of Magic 1977” Card Illusion in Full

This week I thought I would let Doug do what he did best…pure magic. I don’t always play videos all week, but I thought as we go into the holiday weekend what better time is there for it? It goes without saying this close-up section from “World of Magic 77” seemed effortless for Doug. I…

World of Magic 1976: Water Levitation/Fire Hoop in Full

I had been going through my archives not quite sure what to put up today. However, it dawned on me why not put up one of the most tranquil six minutes in magic you can find? Doug performed the Water Levitation and Fire Hoop many times over his career. However, in “World of Magic 1976”…

Happy Holidays and “World of Magic ’77” Article!

I had intended to have more posts leading up into the holiday season, but a pinched nerve in my shoulder and arm put a damper on that plan.  Regardless, I wanted to get one more 2020 post to the readers, and wish you all a very Happy Holiday season. It goes without saying 2020 wasn’t…

Metamorphosis from “Magic on Broadway” Special!

Previously I posted Doug doing “Metamorphosis” in the filmed version of “The Magic Show.” However, something I like to do if possible is present Doug performing alternative versions of his illusions. With 1982’s “Magic on Broadway,” that is exactly what  we get. A stand out for me is the historical background sprinkled in the introduction…

Fickle Nickel Juke Box Song Titles

The above pictures come from the collection of Joe Long. I’m sure it doesn’t take much guessing to see that these are “actual” song options used for the Fickle Nickel jukebox.  Not featured in my clip from yesterday, the finale of the illusion involved Doug taking the jumbo half prop coin and inserting it into…

“World of Magic” Fickle Nickel in Full

In tandem with last week’s post, I have a few more Fickle Nickel posts for you this week. Not least of which is the full routine which I was eventually able to find. For being one of his most famous performances, it’s not readily available on this thing called the internet.  Rather than describing it…

Fickle Nickel Friday: Original Jumbo Half Prop

Today’s item comes from Joe Long’s collection, and is the original jumbo half that Doug produced at the end of “World of Magic” 75’s “Fickle Nickel” illusion.  The opening of  Doug’s first special could have opened in any number of ways. But, rather than opting for a giant spectacle Doug chose the quiet subtlety of…

“Bill in Lemon” illusion from “World of Magic” ’79!

In this vintage moment from 1979’s “World of Magic” Doug gives new definition to the idea that money burns a hole in your pocket. Recorded at the Hilton Las Vegas, this deceptively simple illusion is having a bit of a revival this week courtesy of our friends at “Magic Week.”

Walter C. Miller Obituary

It slipped under my radar over this past weekend that Walter C. Miller, Doug’s long time TV director, passed away at the age of 94.  Miller’s important contribution to all of Doug’s specials can not be understated. He can also be credited with directing what was television’s first modern magic special with “World of Magic”…

“Alla-Kazam”Fanzine- World of Magic ’78 Article

The following article comes from the second issue of the magic fanzine “Alla-Kazam.” The magazine itself was bi-monthly, and a product of MacDonald Magic located out of Spencerville, Ohio. By all accounts, it folded in 1981.  But, let’s begin with that cover illustration shall we?  By that I mean it’s certainly one of the more…

Torn and Restored Newspaper in Full

I can’t believe I’ve never posted this before.  There’s a lot I can say about this legendary illusion (created by Gene Anderson), and its place in Doug’s history. But, rather than writing about it, why don’t you let Doug do the talking…or rather tearing.   

Chip Romero Collection: Gazebo Bandleader Costume

And I’m back. Sorry for the bit of delay, but, as I mentioned I’ve been dealing with a pinched nerve in my shoulder and arm. All that combined with some minor physical therapy, required me to step away from the website briefly. However, enough about me. All this week we will be featuring items from…

Magic Week Video Archive-World of Magic II

For all those looking for some relief in the lockdown, look no further than this current edition of the Magic Week Archive featuring “World of Magic II.”Culled from Duncan Trillo video collection, this UK broadcast of the special is a truly crisp and immaculate version.  Even if you’ve seen the special before (which I’m sure…

Haversat & Ewing Auction-Doug Egyptian Collar

For all those Doug collectors out there, another piece of magic history is going up for auction this weekend at Haversat & Ewing Galleries.  Straight from the 1978’s “World of Magic,” is Doug’s Egyptian collar as featured in the special’s time travel  theme. This online auction runs from May 15th-16th, and the item itself is…

Glenn Campbell Handkerchief Illusion

The above clip comes from “World of Magic II,” and features a somewhat awkward lesson in handkerchief magic from Doug to singer Glenn Campbell.  Nobody would ever accuse the “World of Magic” specials to have the best dialogue. But, as we all know it was the magic that really counted…not the cue cards.