Last Tour Program: Part One

This item recently came my way from a magical tool called “Ebay!” Maybe you’ve heard of it? It’s the program from Doug’s last substantial tour, and it’s a really fascinating piece for many reasons. Not least of which are the pictures which are worth the price alone.  It’s sort of a rundown of the Best…

Muppet Show Curtain Call!

As we close out the first week of 2018, what better way to do it with Doug’s 1980 curtain call on “The Muppet Show?” Over the last eight months, I’ve shown various clips of Doug’s guest appearance on Jim Henson’s iconic program. This curtain call really showcases how easily Doug criss crossed from his own…

1982 Oakville Beaver Interview

This article is unique in the sense that it comes from Doug’s very own hometown Oakville, Ontario. It’s 1982, and as you would guess, Doug’s life was in full swing with touring and preparations for “Merlin.” But, what I found interesting are Doug’s comments on the life of being a celebrity and some of the…

Original Merlin Playbill

Today’s entry comes courtesy of Nancy Henning, and is the original “Playbill” for “Merlin.” A few weeks back, I was fortunate enough to post the more elaborate commemorative program for the show, and it’s interesting to compare and contrast the two. However, in addition to being signed by Doug himself, this “Playbill” also is a…

Disc Sawing Illusion

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back.  Where was I? When last we spoke I was sick and in the midst of the holiday season. Well, since both of those are things of the past let’s get back to business with this vintage clip from 1982’s “World of Magic VII.” This special is notable for…

A Holiday Break!

Sorry for the lack of posts as of late, but I’ve been recovering from a persistent respiratory sickness. Don’t worry I’m getting better, but I think in the meantime it’s better if I close up shop over the holiday season to recuperate. Not to mention some last minute Christmas shopping.  Thanks to everyone for making this…

Calgary Sun 1986 Interview- Mr.Magic

It’s Saturday! Are you glad? I am!  What better way to celebrate a Saturday than this interview with Doug from the “Calgary  Sun?” In the piece, Doug discusses (you guessed it) magic, his marriage with Debby, and his thoughts on the concepts of fame and life. It’s a fascinating read. Sorry about the small print. If…

Gazebo Illusion

The following is the grand finale to “World of Magic VI.” The special originally starred such variety show luminaries as Marie Osmond, Ricky Schroder, and Shields and Yarnell. What’s a Shields and Yarnell you may ask? That’s another story. You can’t argue that Doug didn’t go all out with this one! In fact, it’s its…

The Doug Henning Project in “Genii Magazine!”

For fans of the long running magic magazine “Genii,” be sure to pick up this month’s December issue. Featured in Todd Karr’s great column “The Eye” is yours truly “The Doug Henning Project!” It’s a great little blurb about my mission with the website, and I even give a little run down of what I…

1980s Indianapolis Show Photos

These photos come courtesy of Thomas Ewing and are candid shots of a 1980s show in Indianapolis. As you can see, the last three photos feature a juggler whose name is lost to history, but boy does he seem to be giving it his all.  Thomas explained to me that the audience was requested not…

Merlin Commemorative Program: Part 3

A fun fact that some people may or may not know, is that nestled in the production bios are the writers of “Merlin” Richard Levinson and William Link. Now these names might not mean much to you, but their creations certainly will. Link and Levinson were the creators of the popular mystery shows “Columbo” and…

Merlin Commemorative Program

So, it’s not often that you’re able to present something as great as this! As it turns out, during the original production of “Merlin” a special and commemorative program was offered for sale. This was in addition to the standard Playbill that everyone received as they entered the theater.  So, as the program itself is…

March of Dimes: Reading Olympics Short

They say that most people’s attention span for watching videos on You Tube is 3 minutes. But, I thought I’d test that theory with this 1970s short vignette for the “March of Dimes” called “The Magic of Reading.” It’s really a charming and endearing short film which really showcases what I feel were the high…

Las Vegas Hilton Table Cards

In his career, Doug didn’t really like playing Vegas for moral and ethical reasons and eventually stopped altogether. So, that fact alone makes these Las Vegas Hilton promotional table cards all the more rarer. From their design to their color palette, you can’t argue with the fact that they are a snapshot into the glitter…

Henning in High School

You may have to squint your eyes a little, the above  article comes from the Oakville Trafalgar High School’s 75th Anniversary commemorative newspaper. Doug, in preparations for “Merlin” at the time, speaks fondly of his formative years in high school and what they meant to him.  While he wasn’t able to attend the reunion that…

Help Me Figure this “Mystery Ticket” Out!

“Doug Henning Project” fan Daniel Guerrero sent me the above item from his collection recently. Daniel said it was a rehearsal ticket for the Houdini “Water Torture Cell” as featured in the first “World of Magic Special.”  However, if you look closely at the drawing of Doug on the ticket it is from a painting…

Natural Law Party Commercial

In the early 90s, Doug ran for office under the TM influenced “Natural Law Party” in the United Kingdom and Canada. While he was the victor in all things magic, sadly his political career was not to be and he lost both elections.  While this phase in his career confused Doug’s many fans, it really…

Crystal Box Illusion with Ann Reinking

For all those looking for a little pep to their Wednesday afternoon check out this clip from Doug’s 1983 NBC special “Magic on Broadway.” This special, made during preparations for “Merlin,” is a lot of fun and worth checking out if you can locate a copy. In fact, you might even want to check out…

“World of Magic 4” Props For Sale

    Welcome back everyone! Are we all rested from the long holiday? I know I am. Now down to business.  Collector Steve Sprague recently contacted me in hopes of selling a prop from the “World of Magic 4” special starring Brooke Shields and Tom Bosley. So, rather than hearing from me about it, I’ll let…

A Little Thanksgiving Vacation!

Hi All! “The Doug Henning Project” will be on hiatus until Tuesday, November 28th. I’ll be taking a long overdue vacation to Hawaii over the Thanksgiving holiday, and look forward to more posts regarding you know who when I return. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tenyo Magic Kit From The Collection of Michael Grandinetti

For a while now I’ve been wanting to feature the Tenyo Magic Kit that Doug developed with the, surprise, Tenyo Company out of Japan. Doug at the time was trying to branch out from stage shows and television specials by branding his name and putting them on quality products. Thanks to magician Michael Grandinetti a…

Doug Henning and Snoopy?

Who’d of thought that Doug would have ever gotten a name check in Charles Schultz’s classic comic strip “Peanuts?” Well, in June of 1982 that’s exactly what happened! This only speaks volumes to how much Doug had really broken into the mainstream pop culture consciousness. For quite some time, he really was the preeminent magician…

Doug in Chicago 1984

David Sigafus was kind enough to share these articles with me from the October-November 1984 “Chicago Tribune” when Doug was performing at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater. The article delves into Doug’s creative process with mentions of John Gaughan and Jim Steinmeyer to boot. It’s a fascinating snapshot of what sounded like a great tour.  Now…

Julie Newmar “World of Magic” Costume For Sale

Hello All and Happy Monday! I have a bit of a treat today as I’ve agreed to help magician Paul Driscoll sell the actual costume that Julie Newmar wore in Doug’s first “World of Magic” 1975 special. If you are interested in purchasing this one-of-a-kind item please contact Paul directly as he owns it. I’m…

Nancy Henning Interview: Part Four

Hasn’t this been great? Before we start the last part of our interview I just wanted to once again thank Nancy Henning for taking the time to talk to me. I think we can all agree that her insights and observations only serve to make us appreciate Doug’s artistry even more. How do you think…

Nancy Henning Interview: Part Three

Can you talk a bit about the $5000 Doug was awarded by the Canadian Arts Council to study magic? Did he discuss that with you at the time? You know, I don’t really remember hearing anything about that until he got it. He was quite proud of it, because at the time, there had never…

Nancy Henning Interview: Part Two

As we continue our talk with Nancy Henning she elaborates on her time as Doug’s original audience and his first jobs as a magician. Take it away Nancy! You sounded like a good audience. Oh, I was a good audience. And boyfriends, as I grew up, would always be asking me, “How does he do…

Nancy Henning Interview: Part One

Starting today and running over multiple parts will be my recent interview with Nancy Henning, Doug’s sister. To say that I am honored that she took the time to talk with me is an understatement. The following is a rare look into Doug’s life before and after he became famous. Thank you so much for talking…

A Lost Doug Illusion?

This request recently found its way to me from Doug fan Michael Ketchum regarding a potentially “lost” Doug illusion that needs identifying. If you have any information please contact Michael directly at the email address below.   I AM THE CURRENT OWNER OF AN ILLUSION NAMED “THE MONKEY BOX ILLUSION” – WHICH WAS SOLD TO ME WITH…