“The Magic Show” Movie-Up to His Old Tricks Opening Number

Happy Monday folks! The above clip comes from the opening of “The Magic Show” movie. It sets the stage (so to speak) for this televised version of the show to be a kind of “Doug’s Greatest Hits” package. In it, the “Mis-Made” and “Handkerchief” illusions make a welcome re-appearance to an enthusiastic audience. While the…

The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club

It just dawned on me that it wouldn’t be a proper Doug Henning website without mentioning “The Doug Henning Magic Wand Club”out of Hamilton, Ontario. The club itself was founded in 1927, but was officially designated by the International Brotherhood of Magicians as chapter “I.B.M 49” in 1947.  While attending McMaster University, Doug himself was…

I.B.M. Plaque Unveiling Color Photos

The following photographs come from the collection of Dean Gunnarson, and feature Doug at the 1986 plaque unveiling ceremony commemorating the first location of the I.B.M headquarters in Winnipeg. For those unfamiliar, I.B.M. is the abbreviation for the esteemed organization the “International Brotherhood of Magicians.”  While I have featured this event before, never have I…

1965 Focus on Hocus Program

“Focus on Hocus” seems to be a little known and very early performance in Doug’s career. Taking place on September 4, 1965, an eighteen year old Doug shared the bill with many professional magicians of the day in a show rightfully billed as an “International Magicians Extravaganza!” It’s also worth noting that Micky Hades is…

Canadian Walk of Fame Mishap

In 2010, Doug was finally inducted into the prestigious Canadian Walk of Fame. However, for some reason or other everyone involved in the planning and preparations neglected to invite or even ask his family to participate. Anyway, I digress! Here is the original article from the Canadian newspaper “The Star.” You can make up your…

Johnny Ould Remembers Doug

My Doug Henning Recollections by Johnny Ould During the mid to late 1950’s, there were two main places in Toronto, Ontario where local and visiting magicians would gather. (They were) The Arcade Magic & Novelty Store in the Yonge St. Arcade, and The Magic Counter in Eaton’s Toy Land that was run by Johnny Giordmaine. The…

The Chip Romero Collection: “Hendoo” Business Card

We all have to come from somewhere don’t we? Featured above, is an exceptional find in the history of Doug Henning. You see, way, way before Doug Henning was Doug Henning, he was “The Astounding Hendoo!” For more on this early phase in Doug’s career, here’s an except from John Harrison’s 2009 biography on Doug’s…

Natural Law Party Campaign Article

Today’s article comes from the collection of Joe Fox, and highlights a unique time in Doug’s life: his attempted political career.  Not many magicians to my mind have successfully run for political office and won and, unfortunately, Doug was no exception.  Under the TM based “Natural Law Party,” Doug attempted to bring peace to Canada…

The Magic Show-Celestial Elevator

There’s nothing like a brief snippet from the TV version of “The Magic Show” to start the day off right! If all elevator rides were this fun…

Doug and Nancy Henning Photo (Clear Quality)

The above picture is famous in Doug Henning lore for being one of his earliest publicity photos. It also is one that also features his sister and friend of the website, Nancy Henning. Now, while we’ve all probably seen this at one time or another, it is usually pretty grainy and not as clear as this…

Very Early “Henning and Mars” Publicity Photo

In the year and a half that I have been running this site, I have published A LOT of pictures of Doug and his career. But, the one featured above is one I had never seen before. It features Doug and his assistant, then girlfriend Mars Barrick, in a publicity still from the early 70s. …

Another Micky Hades Letter

Enjoy this rare letter from the collection of Michael Whitecar. You may remember last month I also posted another letter from Doug to author/historian/collector Micky Hades. In retrospect, it truly is a fascinating window into where Doug was in his career at that time. Hey and who can beat that letterhead?  

Ivan Reitman Spellbound Variety Ad

The above photo comes courtesy of Brian Lumley, but was given to him by Montreal based magician Blair Marshall.  A big thank you to both. Some of you may know the fabled story of how Doug and director Ivan Reitman developed what would become “Spellbound” over a long rehearsal and fundraising period. However, when the…

Mystery Item!

This last item of the week from Michael Whitecar’s collection is a bit of a conundrum. While Michael believes it may be an early item from Doug’s career that he may have built himself, there is no provenance to prove it.  So, lets get on our detective hats on this one. Does anyone here have…

Doug as Chou Chou the Mime

This rare Canadian article from the early 1970s touches on a relatively unknown time in Doug’s career when he wasn’t known as Doug Henning at all. No, this was the time of Chou Chou, the shoe selling mime.  As the article explains, Doug’s purpose in this 15 minute consumer presentation was to perform his various…

Doug Henning Canadian “Beginnings” Article

This article comes by way of reader Karen Kampen. It’s very unique in the sense that it’s more oral history than a straight article. In it, Doug reflects on his childhood growing up in Canada, his sisters, and his father. It’s a great read, and while it’s a mystery to myself and Karen which paper it…

Society of Canadian Magicians: 1974 “Magic Show” Article

In addition to writing a great article this week, Richard Sherry has shared this issue of the “Levitator” from May/June 1974. The issue focuses on Doug’s groundbreaking success with “The Magic Show,” and even features an interview with Doug culled from “The New York Times.” Early interviews with Doug are always great to read, and…

Richard Sherry Remembers: Part Two

Growing Up with a Legend: Part Two By Richard Sherry Doug Henning was friends with a young director named Ivan Reitman who would go on to produce such blockbusters such as “Animal House,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Kindergarten Cop.”  It was said that Ivan fronted him the money to purchase the props to create his stage show…

Richard Sherry Remembers: Part One

In this two part article, magician Richard Sherry has graciously agreed to recount for “The Doug Henning Project” the times he spent with Doug as a teen growing up in Canada. It’s a fascinating window into the life of a young Doug Henning and the positive effect he had on the people around him… Growing…

Metamorphosis!

The above clip comes from the filmed and retooled version of “The Magic Show.” Shot in 1981, this version for television changed songs and even took some out. But, it is the only filmed version of the musical, and the only way to experience it today.  The illusion in question needs no introduction! Doug’s version…

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…

Canadian Walk of Fame TV Event

The above segment was broadcast on Canadian television in 2010 in honor of Doug’s induction into the Canadian Walk of Fame. While the sync and picture quality are off, the segment itself is really well done and the narration by David Copperfield is truly rare indeed. Doug’s legacy is not something that is always recognized, and events…

Erix Logan, Doug Henning, and Mousetrap!

The following email was sent to me recently by renowned magician Erix Logan. It’s a fascinating read that gives us an insight into a famed Doug illusion that took on another life of its own, long after he retired.  I have always been a huge fan of Doug and the way he thought about magic….

Even More Rare Photos from Ken McCreedy!

Ken McCreedy’s collection continues today with these great shots of Doug with his early assistants, his childhood home, and his high school (which unfortunately has seen better days).  The one thing “The Doug Henning Project” loves to do is post rare pictures. Feel free to send them my way if you uncover some hidden gems!…

Rare First NBC Special Publicity Photo!

Continuing from yesterday’s First Special publicity item, I thought this rarely seen picture of Doug and Julie Newmar might help to bring us all back to a strange and mystical place called the 1970s! Enjoy.

Alternate “Magic Show” Poster

This phenomenal and eye catching poster for the “Magic Show” television adaptation is truly, pardon the pun, a “wonder.” Rarely seen, it shows a totally different concept than the traditional poster that was used for the Broadway  and television versions.  If anyone has more information on this, where it was used, and the artist please…

“Magic Show” Movie Props!

Today’s images again come from Steve Zigmont’s impressive collection. What you see below are the bottles that the evil magician Van Zyskin uses in his act for “The Magic Show” movie.  Filmed for Canadian television, this version of “The Magic Show” differs from the famed Broadway production. However, it is the only version of the play…