Brian Lumley on Houdini’s Water Torture Cell

How did the First Special come about? Very early in The Magic Show’s run a very influential person came and basically fell in love with Doug’s performance. She asked him what he would do if he had a show at Christmas? Doug told her he would make people appear and disappear. He would do small…

First Special Altered Poster

While I still recuperate I wanted to slowly get back into the swing of things with this first special newspaper ad from the Chicago Tribune. What’s unique about this particular piece is that the list of guest stars is updated to reflect who would actually be on the show. There are other color versions of…

First Special Cover Story

To brighten up our Monday commute, let’s travel back to 1975 and take a look at a great cover story of Doug promoting the first NBC special! Special thanks to David Sigafus for sending me this. I had been trying to find a good image of the cover picture for a while. 

The First NBC Special: Houdini’s Water Torture Cell Conclusion

As we reach the end of this legendary moment in magic history, the seconds are counting down and down. Doug, sealed in, begins the almost impossible job of escaping from a seemingly watery grave. Would he make it out alive? Or would 50 million people watch a man drown on live television? All your questions are…

The First NBC Special: Part Two

In watching the special with modern eyes, it’s interesting to note how fresh, energetic, and groundbreaking it all still feels. Rather than doing an opening monologue, Doug dives into one of the things he truly excelled at… close up magic. None of the following scene has any dialogue, and that uniqueness makes it one of my favorite parts of the…

The First NBC Special: Part One

The night was December 26, 1975. Fifty-Million plus people were tuning in live for an NBC worldwide satellite broadcast. The star was a twenty-eight year old magician from Canada that had been taking Broadway and fans by storm in “The Magic Show.” His name, of course, was Doug Henning! Offered a TV special of his own by…