Dave Collier Photos: World of Magic 1977

So, after a brief detour last week into You Tube land, we’ve now safely arrived in 1977 (the year of my birth by the way)! This is World of Magic III!” It’s the special that has such eclectic items as a very excited Glenn Campbell, child versions of Doug and Sandy Duncan, balancing on blades,…

Dave Collier 1976 Photos: Fire Hoop, Water Levitation, and Ricky Jay

The 1976 special seemed to have everything in it. Even more lighter in tone than its predecessor, the special definitely had something for everyone to enjoy.  These pictures are unique in the sense that some are culled from the dress rehearsal that would occur right before the live broadcast. The rehearsals would be a straight…

Dave Collier’s 1976 Photos: Doug, an Elephant, and Michael Landon

As we continue our journey through Dave Collier’s lens, we arrive in 1976 for Doug’s second “World of Magic” special. As ratings for the first special went through the roof, NBC clearly wanted more of Doug. So, just how would he top himself? A vanishing and re-appearing elephant of course! Oh, and how about Michael…

Dave Collier Photos: “World of Magic 1” After Party

In today’s installment, it’s time to party like it’s 1975! With a viewing audience of fifty million people, Doug and friends celebrated the achievement with a well attended after party. A drink in hand, Doug rightly is the focus of everyone’s attention after having pulled off the seemingly impossible. Ahhh, to be a fly on that…

Dave Collier “World of Magic 1” Photos: Doug, Gene Kelly, and the Cast

Doug’s grand escape from Houdini’s “Water Torture Cell” still is ranked as one of the greatest television magic finales of all time.  It even left Gene Kelly speechless enough to lose track of his cue cards. As you can see from these photos, the excitement of the evening even went right through to the curtain call…

The History of Martin Short’s Doug Henning

Who doesn’t love Martin Short’s impersonation of Doug? Aside from being dead on accurate, it’s still remembered to this day as one of the best he’s ever done. Maybe that’s because Short actually knew his subject all too well. You see, Martin Short attended college with Ivan Reitman and Doug at McMaster University up in Canada….

“World of Magic 1” 1975 Newspaper Ad

Well, here’s something you don’t see every day. This newspaper ad comes from the “Chicago Tribune,” and is dated December 26, 1975. As is evident, the anticipation for the special was obviously huge, and it’s interesting to see it reproduced here in black and white. One of my favorite parts of it is the reminder “This…

“Magic on Broadway” Disembodied Head Illusion

Featured above is one of the more amusing moments from Doug’s “Magic on Broadway” special. The banter between Doug and Debby is heavily scripted, but pops with their usual chemistry! Needless to say, I’m skeptical that that was Doug’s real head featured throughout the whole illusion. But, who am I to say? Enjoy!

“World of Magic I” Press Releases

The following press releases are in anticipation of the first “World of Magic” special broadcast originally on December 26th, 1975. Each one is interesting in that while he had already appeared on Broadway, Doug was not yet the proven television commodity he would become. Oh, how one night would change all of that?   Special…

Doug on “The Tonight Show”…Again

The reaction to last week’s Tonight Show clip was so positive that, well, let’s do it again shall we? In this clip, Doug again shows off a myriad of illusions all before the coveted interview with Johnny. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice Steve Martin on the couch as well. The world of 1970s talk shows truly was…

Doug on the Tonight Show (1984)

What better way to ease into the work week than with this 1984 appearance of Doug on Johnny Carson’s legendary Tonight Show? As Johnny explains, Doug was in LA for two weeks of shows at the Ahmanson Theater in preparation for a later run on Broadway. As having never seen this clip before, I was…

“World of Magic VII” Newspaper Ad

Hey Guys! Sorry for the delay in posts. I’ve been up to my neck in our current Indiegogo campaign.  Hey, so what better way to take a break with this vintage newspaper advertisement from “World of Magic VII?” The special, as you may remember, starred Doug and his guests Ann Jillian, Kaitlyn Jenner, Billy Crystal,…

World of Magic IV Animal Illusion

What better way to liven up your Sunday afternoon than with this vintage clip where Doug conjures up some adorable baby animals and, well, enough said? Original Air Date: February 15, 1981 ————————————————————————————– While you’re here, be sure to donate to my Indiegogo campaign for my feature length documentary “Doug Henning’s Magical World.” To view…

Rare “World of Magic II” Pop Art Ad

You can chuck this advertisement into the “rare and obscure bin.” This was obviously made for “World of Magic II,” and truly combines the best of what 1970s pop art had to offer at the time. It takes a lot to make Doug Henning look frightening and, well, this comes pretty darn close.  Does anyone…

“Den of Tigers” Newspaper Ad

This creatively worded advertisement was for the final live “World of Magic” special. Originally broadcast on December 14, 1978, this special was plagued by numerous issues, not least of which was a tiger escaping through the halls of NBC . However, none of this chaos was visible to the holiday audiences at home, and from that…

The Floating Ball

What better way to end your week with this soothing and relaxing clip of Doug performing the famous “Floating Ball” illusion? Originally featured on “World of Magic II,” this deceptively simple illusion is elevated to another level (no pun intended) with Doug’s skill and precision.  Last September you may remember I posted the version Doug…

TV Specials Footage Needed

Hello All,  I need to ask a bit of a favor. I’m looking for good quality footage from the “World of Magic” NBC TV specials (preferably the earlier ones.) It’s for an upcoming authorized project that I can explain more to you if you email or private message me on Facebook. Thanks so much and…

1982 Cheerleader Cabinet Illusion

This illusion hails from the final “World of Magic” special, and features a variation on Guy Jarret’s original 21 person cabinet illusion. However, it wouldn’t be Doug Henning without some tweaks and flourishes courtesy of cheerleaders and a then Bruce Jenner. So, before the weekend starts, enjoy this very Doug Henning magical moment from 1982….

Statue of the Pharaohs Illusion

To commemorate new “King Tut” exhibition that has opened in Los Angeles, I feel it’s more than appropriate to showcase this clip from Doug’s “Magic on Broadway” special. While I certainly can’t vouch for its historical authenticity it sure is fun to watch. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you next week!

The $1,000,000 Illusion

As we close out the week, I wanted to showcase the “1,000,000” illusion from Doug’s penultimate special “Magic on Broadway.” The special itself, shot at the time of “Merlin,” serves as a kind of greatest hits special sprinkled with new takes on old illusions and a myriad of special guests.  Reuniting with Doug on stage…

A Moment for Harry Anderson

For the last few days the passing of Harry Anderson has been on my mind, as I’m sure it has with all of you. I had wanted to pay tribute in some way to Anderson’s tremendous influence on magic and comedy. But, I  wasn’t sure if a Doug Henning website was the proper venue for that….

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…

Brian Lumley: “Magic Show” Secrets

How did Spellbound end up on Broadway? Ivan Reitman, Spellbound’s producer/director, put an ad in Variety which was published Dec. 19/73. This was the pre-production week. Joe Berhu and Edgar Lansbury saw the ad and came to take a look. By the end of the week Broadway was in the air. We set up shop…

Vanishing Elephant Illusion

While I had hoped to find a clip of the original “Vanishing Elephant” illusion from Doug’s second special, everything on You Tube is an inferior and grainy copy. Fortunately for us, Doug recreated the illusion for the 1981 filmed version of “The Magic Show” which is the origin of this higher quality clip.  The elephant…

“World of Magic V” NBC Promo

There’s something to be said about this NBC TV promo for 1980’s “World of Magic V.” What it is I don’t know, other than that they don’t make commercials like they used to. That’s for sure.  On that note, does anyone have a copy of the long lost gem “Valentine Magic on Love Island? 

First Special “Torn Newspaper” Routine

Yesterday’s clip was a lot of fun wasn’t it? Continuing on in that vein why don’t we take  a look at Doug’s presentation of Gene Anderson’s famed “Torn Newspaper” illusion.  Doug’s enthusiasm combined with his expert handling of this illusion make for one of the most simple looking, but most memorable parts of the first…

Houdini Torture Cell Escape in Full

Clips from 1975’s “World of Magic 1” are a rarity on the internet. For some reason, every other one of Doug’s specials are available to find if you know where to look. But, “World of Magic 1” remains elusive at best…at least online (if you catch my meaning.)   It’s a shame really because in my…