Happy Holidays…and a NY Times Article!

Well folks, it’s that time of the year where I close up shop and reflect on the year that just passed and the one that is just upon us. As always, I wish you the happiest of holidays and sincerely thank you for all your support over the past two, almost three years. It’s everyone’s…

Kiel Opera House Advertisement

The above advertisement was printed on June 1, 1980 in the “St. Louis Post-Dispatch.” The Kiel Opera House, now known as the Stifel Theatre, was opened in 1934 and enjoyed a healthy and long life until it was closed under financial disagreements in 1991. Reopening in 2011, the theater seems to be back to its…

Derren Brown “Doug” Name Check!

Mentalist Derren Brown, whose current Broadway show “Secret” is smashing records, was recently interviewed by “Long Island Weekly.” In it, Derren discusses the show’s history, and a certain other magician is mentioned regarding their time on Broadway.  “Recently, breaking the record as the longest-running magician on Broadway, Brown made his U.S. debut with Secret, which…

Statue of the Pharaohs Today

If you ever wondered where a lot of Doug’s illusions have ended up over the years. Well, the short answer is that they’re mainly still around, just not always in one place as they used to be. In the case of Doug’s “Statue of the Pharaohs,” let’s get a bit of a refresher before we…

Genii Online: Jim Steinmeyer Interview

In the annals of Doug Henning history, the name Jim Steinmeyer looms large. Having been discovered by Doug at the age of 16, Jim went onto help shape the latter part of Doug’s career from the specials, to Merlin, and beyond.  In 2017, Genii Online sat down with Jim for a wide ranging six-part interview….

Cooper-Hewitt Archives: World of Magic Poster

While some of you may already be aware of this promotional poster, I’m featuring it because this version comes straight from the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Archives in New York City. It’s colors and quality are highly preserved, and this is definitely one of the most pristine versions I’ve ever seen. For me, this poster has always…

World of Magic V: Compressed Illusion

The above clip originally aired on February 14th, 1982 and is the final “World of Magic” special. As it goes with any magician, looks can be deceiving, and Doug had one more special up his sleeve called “Doug Henning: Magic on Broadway.” But, that’s another story.  Now back to this one. While no one could…

Plymouth Magic Wagon Doug Billboard

The above image caught my eye via a sale currently featured on EBay. The item being sold is an original 16mm copy of Doug’s classic Plymouth “Magic Wagon” television commercial. However, it is this image from the campaign that made me do a double take.  While I was aware that the original commercial had a…

Henning “Animaniacs” Appearance

Welcome back from Thanksgiving folks! Did you know that Doug Henning appeared on Steven Spielberg’s beloved 90s cartoon series “Animaniacs?’ Or more to the point, a suspiciously Doug like character named “Merlin!” To be truthful, I haven’t seen this episode before. But, if I were a betting man, I’d say someone on that writing staff…

Unseen Merlin Production Publicity Photos

These pictures were given to me by writer Michelle Ainsworth and really showcase the scope and scale of “Merlin” very nicely. The top color photo was taken by photographer Peter Cunningham and is a real stunner if you ask me. While there is no documentation as to who took the second photo, I suspect it…

Vintage “Hendoo” For Hire Advertisement

This unique and very rare advertisement is from a time where a young Doug Henning was known as “Hendoo” and he hadn’t taken the world by sensation.  Not yet anyway. Rather than just doing a straight classified, Doug employed this nifty visual to draw potential customers in. Do you see it? Look one way and…

Merv Griffin Show- Chita Rivera Performing “Merlin”

Finding existing performance clips of “Merlin” is a lot like finding Sasquatch or seeing a UFO. They tend to be very fleeting, and you have to look hard.  Well, as luck would have it I recently came across this excerpt from the “Merv Griffin Show” where Chita Rivera performs “I Can Make it Happen.” As…

Original “Magic Show” Set Design Sketch

The above piece comes from Henning admirer Glen Henry and is a real rare piece of Broadway history.  It’s not often that you find a production sketch from the original version of “The Magic Show” at a small store in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. But that, my friends, is exactly what happened. How it ended…

We Need You!

Just putting a general call out there that “The Doug Henning Project” is always actively looking for new content for the site. Whether that involves items from collections, general memorabilia, rare photos, newspaper clippings, or anything else you can think of, I’d love to post it. One of the joys for me with the site…

Wild About Harry: Doug and Houdini Article

For those jonesing for a Houdini/Doug fix this Saturday, may I divert your attention to today’s post on John Cox’s excellent website “Wild About Harry.” It delves into the impetus for John’s lifelong love of Houdini which is…well, visit the website to find out if you haven’t guessed already.  While you’re there stay a while…

NY Times: World of Magic Broadway Review

Doug Henning only seems to dema terialize – and re-materialize – and levitation is a mechanical rather than a natural wonder. But it is beyond the ken of nonmagicians to understand how he performs his illusionary feats. As we know from his first two Broadway shows and his frequent television appearances, he is a genial…

Doug Henning: Birthday Performer?

The above newspaper clipping shows evidence that, yeah, if you had enough money Doug Henning would perform at your birthday party. Now, I have no pictures or evidence to corroborate that all the illusions described here occurred. However, if you look up Adnan Khashoggi online he was a pretty wealthy man. So wealthy in fact,…

Steve Cohen Interview: Final Part

Let’s talk about your graphic novel, “The Millionaires Magician,” how did that start? Well, you already know the answer. The answer is Doug Henning… Yeah. You’ll never believe it but when I was a little boy, about eight or nine years old, I used to draw my own comic books. One of the cartoon characters…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part Three

Is there anything that you may have gleaned from Doug when you were younger that you may take with you in your own act? I would say his obvious glee and real love for his magic. Also, the obvious glee and love that he turned outward toward his audience. Doug was not performing for himself;…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part Two

Can you talk about the two times you saw Doug perform live? For this interview, I dug out two ticket stubs from my collection. One of them is for “Merlin” on February 23, 1983. The other ticket was for “Doug Henning’s World of Magic” on Saturday, December 22, 1984. I vividly remember going to “Doug…

Steve Cohen Interview: Part One

Over this week, I will be featuring an interview I conducted recently with acclaimed New York magician Steve Cohen. Steve is very well known in the magic and entertainment communities for his must-see show “Chamber Magic.” This intimate evening harkens back to magic salons of the past, and over the last twenty years has become…

Things that Go Bump in the Night-Magic Show Version

In his career, Doug did many versions of the famed illusion “Things that Go Bump in the Night.” While I have posted this illusion from the TV specials before, this version comes from the early 80s made for TV “Magic Show.” It’s a fun and lively version that is sure to send you into the…

1995 “Skeptical Inquirer” Article

The following article comes from the May/June 1995 issue of the well known magazine “The Skeptical Inquirer.” In it, writer Martin Gardner analyzes Doug’s devotion to Transcendental Mediation, its purported benefits, and “Veda Land.” I had weighed whether to publish this or not as the article is primarily one-sided. But, in the end I like…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Three

All Photos by Ken Duncan These photos are copyrighted by the New York Public Library’s Billy Rose Theater Division. Any unauthorized usage of those for profit or personal promotion is in violation of copyright laws.

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show Part Two

Let’s do it again shall we folks? I have to say I’m really loving this collection of photos. What strikes me the most about them is that their electricity and energy truly make you feel as if you’re in the Cort Theater’s front row circa 1974. As these pictures prove, the production itself was sparse and…

NYPL Photo Archive: The Magic Show

The following photos come from the photo archive of the New York Public Library, and represent some incredibly rare and unseen photos that haven’t seen the light of day in 35 years. This is it folks, the start of Doug’s Broadway career in crisp and glorious black and white. Taken by photographer Kenn Duncan between 1974-1975,…