Doug Henning: In His Own Words (Part Three)

In this final part, Doug touches on Merlin, Veda Land, his retirement, and what brought him back to Los Angeles in the late 90s. While the interview itself ends on a high note with Doug proclaiming “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” sadly this was not to be. Doug passed away a short four months after this…

Doug Henning- In His Own Words (Part One)

For the rest of this week I’ll be reprinting Magic Magazine’s now legendary interview with Doug from October, 1999. Conducted by magician David Charvet, this lengthy interview would sadly turn out to be Doug’s last as he would pass away from cancer four months later. For those interested, the circumstances as to how this interview came…

Martin Short Tonight Show Appearance-May 14, 1992

In my never ending quest to find more footage of Martin Short performing his spot on impersonation of Doug, I came across this “Tonight Show” appearance from May 14, 1992. As Carson’s reign on the “Tonight Show” ended that month and year, this was more than likely Short’s final appearance on the show. What better way…

Admired from Afar-The Magic Show

It’s Monday folks. So, what better way to start the week than something else with the letter “M” in it…Anita Morris! This number features Morris recreating her role of Charmin from the Broadway “Magic Show” production. As the wife of its original director Grover Dale, she truly was a powerhouse performer who always lent the…

“World of Magic 1” Non-Doug Based Advertisement

Well, as promised I’m back and ready and relaxed from my travels. I’m sorry there have been some stop gaps over the last month, but some unexpected trips came up! Anyway, I have some great things in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to share them with you moving forward.  I thought I’d ease into…

Genii-“Goodbye Doug” Issue-Final Part

So, in this third and final part we get some nice reprints of articles from earlier “Genii” issues. Both really bookend the tribute issue as a whole by bringing the readers back to a time in Doug’s career when things were less complicated and innocent. The article by Bill Larsen (co-founder of the Magic Castle)…

Genii-“Goodbye Doug” Issue (Zombie Article)

The featured article below continues where we last left off in the “Goodbye Doug” Genii issue, and it profiles a time when Doug was the editor of the “Young Magicians” Section of Mickey Hades’s “Zombie. “ As you will discover, Doug himself was only seventeen at the time, and was already an up and coming…

Genii “Goodbye Doug” Tribute Issue (Jim Steinmeyer Article)

When Doug died in February, 2000 there was naturally an upsurge of emotion within the magic community. So much so, that two tribute issues were put out in “Genii” and “Magic” magazines respectively. While it’s always hard to sum up someone’s life work in article form, both did an excellent job in spotlighting his impact…

Chip Romero Collection at the I.B.M Scottsdale Convention

For all those in the Scottsdale, AZ area and beyond, this July 10th-13th the “International Brotherhood of Magicians” will be holding their annual convention. While that is impressive in itself, what is certainly to be the highlight of the event will be magician/collector Chip Romero’s display of his many artifacts from the life and career…

NARM Convention Giant Record Photo

This undated newspaper clipping hails from a private appearance Doug did at a NARM Organization event. The giant record is unique in the sense that it never appeared in any of his specials before, and it is the first time I’m aware of it. Though I’m sure many of you out there have more visual…

World of Magic V- Coins and Cards Illusion

I’ve gone into it before in previous posts, but I really love Doug’s close-up magic. It’s nuanced, it’s intimate, and above all, funny. A good example of this is the Coins and Cards illusion from “World of Magic V.” Doug plays a lot with audience expectations and anticipation here, but it’s that last word play…

World of Magic V- Flexible Glass Illusion

For an illusion that seems so simple, its impact on the audience is not. Doug handles this close up illusion wisely by sitting with the audience and utilizing the intimacy of the television camera. How he did it isn’t as important as the effect it had on the viewers at home. Immediately afterwards, Doug performed…

Doug Does Some Magic for the “New York Sunday News”

I wasn’t really sure how to title this post other than to say what it is: Doug Henning shows you how to do some really cool close-up magic! Enough said really.  However, what really appeals to me about this article is that it was done at the height of the “Magic Show’s” popularity in December,…

Doug Henning and Season 4 of “The Muppet Show”

Doug’s appearance on Jim Henson’s iconic program “The Muppet Show” is a bit of an enigma. Sure there are some great clips from it that exist on You Tube (which have been shown here), but it’s not widely available for viewing or for purchase. This is mainly due to the fact that Disney (who owns…

First Special “TV Listings” Cover and Interview

Today’s post comes from the collection of magician Greg Gleason, and features more fabulous TV listings and interviews that were commonplace over Doug’s long career. The interview and article itself is a general rundown of the making of the first special, and give a nice window into Doug’s pressure filled life at this time. Can…

1998 “Globe” Tabloid Interview

The above article is from “Globe Magazine” and, if you do the math within the interview, it hails from around 1998. In it, Doug discusses what he has been up to in the ten years since he retired from the public spotlight. If you can get past the tabloid and slightly patronizing feel of the…

“Right Before Your Very Eyes!” from “The Magic Show”

Let’s rub those Monday doldrums from your very eyes with this lively and well known number from “The Magic Show.” Aside from the original show’s cast album, this filmed for television version is really the only way this rollicking number can be experienced today. While it may not be a perfect representation of what audiences…

The Merlin Understudy that Never Was

The above picture is of Doug with actor Andrew Hill Newman. If history had operated accordingly, Andrew was to have been the first understudy to take over Doug’s role in “Merlin.” However, many of you don’t need this website to tell you that “Merlin” was a somewhat tumultuous production with many ups and downs. Many…

Magic Magazine “Magic Show” Anniversary Cover

The above 2014 cover was made in honor of the 40th anniversary of, you guessed it, “The Magic Show.” The cover itself serves as a nice variation on the classic poster fans are used to, while giving it a bit of a more modern and flashy spin.  While the original production of “The Magic Show”…

“World of Magic III” Sword Levitation Newspaper Clipping

In preparation for “World of Magic III,” Doug and special TV guest Sandy Duncan whipped up a little Sword Levitation publicity for the press. This undated AP photo (taken in front of someone’s house apparently), made sure that readers, as well as the press, got the point…so to speak.  Special Thanks to Michael Whitecar  

Doug Henning and David Copperfield Photo

The above photo is one that some of you may have seen before. But, believe it or not, I’ve never posted it on the site until now.  To my knowledge, it’s the only circulated photo of Doug and David Copperfield together. Taken at the AMA awards (I believe), it really represents two icons of modern…

1985 All-Stars of Magic Charity Event Photo-Alternative Angle

While this “1985 All-Stars of Magic” photo was featured in an earlier post, this version is of a different angle. Organized by Lance Burton and Fielding West, this one night only event featured a who’s who of magic to raise money for hunger in Africa. Fielding himself can now be seen on the far right hand…

Rare Peter Cunningham “Merlin” Photo

The photograph featured below was taken by well known theater and music photographer Peter Cunningham, and features a stunning image from “Merlin” that I’ve never seen before.  As related to me by its owner Michelle Ainsworth, the photo was purchased from Cunningham himself, and was one of the first times he had photographed a Broadway…

“Merlin” Illusion Breakdown Sheet

Today’s post is a doozy, as it’s not often we get to see the actual illusion breakdown from “Merlin.” The document itself gives us a good idea of the order of the illusions themselves, and just how many there were within the show itself. Now, obviously I had to some redacting in the “How” column….

Handwritten “Merlin” Monthly Expenditure Notes

Money, money, money! It makes the world go round doesn’t it?  The notes featured below list the general costs and supplies that went into producing “Merlin” per month. While $421.74 may not seem like much now for a Broadway show, in 2019 dollars that equals to $1116.84 per month.  Unfortunately, not everything can be conjured…

1983 “Merlin” Animal Breakdown Sheet

If yesterday weren’t enough for you feast your eyes on this detailed breakdown sheet of how the animals in “Merlin” were positioned and used. It really brings you a whole new appreciation to see the level of care and preparation that goes, and still goes into, the usage of magic and animals on stage. Enjoy!…

Original “Merlin” Dressing Notes

“Spellbound” author John Harrison was kind enough to share with me some truly eye-opening items from his Henning collection. If you ever wondered how complex “Merlin” was to put on every night, just look at this “Dressers’  Notes” sheet. This document, and a few you’ll see throughout the week will give you a fascinating window…

Grover Dale: Final Thoughts on Doug

Special thanks to Grover Dale for adding this exclusive comment to “The Doug Henning Project” to cap off a great week of memories.  ‘Surrounded by Broadway pros, Doug Henning not only grew as an illusionist. He grew as an actor, performer, and human being.  He caught the ball and ran with it. Witnessing his exceptional growth…