World of Magic ’75: Water Torture Cell Finale in Full

Folks, as I teased earlier in the week, this is it! I present to you what is probably the most famous moment in Doug’s career, Houdini’s Water Torture Cell. Fifty million people tuned in live to watch the finale to Doug’s first special. To say they got their money’s worth was an understatement! It’s worth…

“World of Magic ’75:” Gene Kelly Intro

 By starting the week with this particular clip, I’m sure  you’ll suspect what I’ll be eventually leading up to.  “World of Magic 1975” originally aired on December 26, 1975. Originally, Orson Welles was meant to greet the viewers standing side by side with Houdini’s Water Torture Cell.  However, for various reasons Welles pulled a vanishing…

Magic Week: World of Magic 1980

The fine online folks at the Magic Week Archive have chosen to feature Doug’s “World of Magic 1980” for its weekly feature. Presented on NBC in 1980, this special was taped at the Osmond Entertainment Center in Utah. Along for the ride are, of course, Marie Osmond, Shields & Yarnell, and Ricky Schroeder.   As noted,…

World of Magic ’77: Walking Through a Brick Wall in Full

Hey Everyone! Happy Tuesday.  Do you ever get that feeling we all get when you’ve hit your wall so early in the week waiting for Friday? Well, if that’s the case, why don’t you take a breather with this famous clip of Doug literally walking through a brick wall? This breathtaking event occurred as the…

World of Magic 75: The Sands of Egypt in Full

Similar to the Sands of Egypt themselves, I will be drifting away to Northern California over the coming week. I won’t be able to get back to posts until next Tuesday. But, I wanted to leave you with this classic clip from “World of Magic ’75” to pass the time until then.  Enjoy! Original Air…

World of Magic 75: Shimada Appearance in Full

I thought I’d mix things up a bit today, and have a Doug related clip that doesn’t exactly feature Doug.  You see, Doug would sometimes have other performers on his specials to balance things off. In his first special, he featured the eminent Shimada in a unique five minute segment all unto his own. Hailing…

World of Magic 1978: Camel Appearance in Full

The above appearance was from Doug’s fourth “World of Magic” special in 1978. The special itself features co-hosts Brooke Shields and Tom Bosley accompanying Doug on a whirlwind journey through time, space, and various international countries. While some moments in the special may not hold up well viewed through a 21st-century eye, it definitely features…

Magic on Broadway: Statue of the Pharaohs in Full

Due to a busy schedule after a hectic holiday weekend, I’ll be taking the next week or so off from the site. However, I didn’t want to leave you all empty handed. So, sit back and enjoy the “Statue of the Pharaohs” illusion from Doug’s “Magic on Broadway” special. Even after all these years, it…

“World of Magic 1976” Opening Illusions in Full

What more can I really say to add onto this clip? The number of illusions crammed into this, along with the sheer 1970s variety show feel of it all speak for itself. Also, how many times in your life have you wanted to conjure up a slightly bewildered Michael Landon? Next time you see modern…

“World of Magic 1977” Card Illusion in Full

This week I thought I would let Doug do what he did best…pure magic. I don’t always play videos all week, but I thought as we go into the holiday weekend what better time is there for it? It goes without saying this close-up section from “World of Magic 77” seemed effortless for Doug. I…

World of Magic 1976: Water Levitation/Fire Hoop in Full

I had been going through my archives not quite sure what to put up today. However, it dawned on me why not put up one of the most tranquil six minutes in magic you can find? Doug performed the Water Levitation and Fire Hoop many times over his career. However, in “World of Magic 1976”…

Happy Holidays and “World of Magic ’77” Article!

I had intended to have more posts leading up into the holiday season, but a pinched nerve in my shoulder and arm put a damper on that plan.  Regardless, I wanted to get one more 2020 post to the readers, and wish you all a very Happy Holiday season. It goes without saying 2020 wasn’t…

Tony Randall Segment-“Magic on Broadway”

Tony Randall was a familiar and beloved fixture on sitcoms and late night talk shows for years. From the “Odd Couple” to David Letterman, his smooth air of sophistication and sly bombasity always brought a smile to viewers’ faces.  So, it goes without saying that he seamlessly blends in as Doug’s assistant. Appearing first in…

NBC Specials: More TV Guide Close-Ups

Remember what a “TV Guide” was? If not, then maybe I can refresh everyone’s Streaming and On-Demand based minds with these vintage “Close-Up” articles from that once popular publication.  It’s all a myriad of eras for Doug, and runs right up to the final special “Magic on Broadway.” How about those caricatures as well? I…

Metamorphosis from “Magic on Broadway” Special!

Previously I posted Doug doing “Metamorphosis” in the filmed version of “The Magic Show.” However, something I like to do if possible is present Doug performing alternative versions of his illusions. With 1982’s “Magic on Broadway,” that is exactly what  we get. A stand out for me is the historical background sprinkled in the introduction…

Fickle Nickel Juke Box Song Titles

The above pictures come from the collection of Joe Long. I’m sure it doesn’t take much guessing to see that these are “actual” song options used for the Fickle Nickel jukebox.  Not featured in my clip from yesterday, the finale of the illusion involved Doug taking the jumbo half prop coin and inserting it into…

“World of Magic” Fickle Nickel in Full

In tandem with last week’s post, I have a few more Fickle Nickel posts for you this week. Not least of which is the full routine which I was eventually able to find. For being one of his most famous performances, it’s not readily available on this thing called the internet.  Rather than describing it…

Fickle Nickel Friday: Original Jumbo Half Prop

Today’s item comes from Joe Long’s collection, and is the original jumbo half that Doug produced at the end of “World of Magic” 75’s “Fickle Nickel” illusion.  The opening of  Doug’s first special could have opened in any number of ways. But, rather than opting for a giant spectacle Doug chose the quiet subtlety of…

Walter C. Miller Obituary

It slipped under my radar over this past weekend that Walter C. Miller, Doug’s long time TV director, passed away at the age of 94.  Miller’s important contribution to all of Doug’s specials can not be understated. He can also be credited with directing what was television’s first modern magic special with “World of Magic”…

“The Rock N’Fun Magic Show” Advertisement-1975

Get rid of those Monday blues with this vintage 1975 newspaper advertisement for the “Rock N’ Fun Magic Show” on NBC 4 in New York.  The show itself was hosted by actor Jeff Mylett,  featured sitting next to Doug, who at that time was the understudy for Doug in “The Magic Show.” The special was…

“Fountain Levitation Illusion” from Magic on Broadway

Hello All! Well, I thought I’d dip my foot back into the proverbial posting pool today courtesy of the “Fountain Levitation Illusion.” With Ann Reinking as his assistant, Doug is at his best with this legendary illusion that never seems to get old over time.  This vintage illusion fit well into the special’s “best of”…

“Motorcycle Illusion” from Magic on Broadway

The motorcycle illusion featured today made its first TV appearance with Doug all the way back in 1977’s “World of Magic III.” Without a doubt, it became one of Doug most memorable and famous illusions. So much so in fact, that he recreated it for his penultimate special “Magic on Broadway” in 1982.  Now, in…

“Rubber Girl” Illusion from “Magic on Broadway”

The “Rubber Girl” illusion above was featured on Doug’s 1982 “Magic on Broadway” special. A lot of the special had sort of a greatest hits feel about it, and was a perfect venue for Doug to show off some old favorites sprinkled with new illusions. In retrospect, all this is appropriate as this was the…

Doug Henning on Broadway-Annie Slide Illusion

It’s two Annie actresses for the price of one in this clip from 1982’s “Doug Henning: Magic on Broadway!” Taped during the Merlin era, the special’s slide illusion features the original Annie Andrea McArdle transforming into the then current Annie Allison Smith. Did the Sun really come out tomorrow with this illusion? Well, that’s for…