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…

Trunk Illusion Disclaimer

Dear Readers, Recently, some visitors to the site have expressed concerns about this week of Trunk Illusion posts, and whether I am exposing magic secrets. I just want to be clear to everyone that this was made with the full approval of John Gaughan who built the illusion in 1978 and currently owns it. He was very much…

John Gaughan: More Trunk Illusion Videos

      Hasn’t this been great? If you’ve been enjoying it so far, be sure not to miss tomorrow’s concluding sit down interview with John. See you then. Once again thank you for Jeffrey Chang for all his help!

Henning on Houdini Radio Interview

This audio clip comes courtesy of John Cox’s fabulous Wild About Harry website. In this radio interview from 1980, Doug discusses the first television special and the intense preparations that went into his escape from Houdini’s Water Torture Cell.  While it’s brief, it gives the listener a peek into Doug’s rehearsal process and the mystery…

NBC’s Night of 100 Stars

Enjoy this clip of Doug assisted by a young Ricky Schroder and a not quite so young Maureen Stapleton. For those who don’t know, “The Night of 100 Stars” was an NBC event with, you guessed it, 100 stars of film and television. Doug, star # 69, performs his classic illusion sawing two women in…

1978 NBC Promo

What better way to start your Monday than with a Doug Henning 1978 NBC Promo?

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.

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 Muppets Take Doug Henning!

While I’ve featured a previous clip of Doug’s 1980 appearance on “The Muppet Show,” you really can’t go wrong with Muppets, Muppets, and more Muppets! This clip, in particular, is notable because it gives us a full performance to marvel over and suggests that maybe The Muppets aren’t always the best magic assistants. For unknown reasons,…

TWA Airlines Commercial!

Even magicians have to get to their next location in a hurry! This amusing TWA Airlines television commercial from 1981 showcases Doug’s image in a very smart and funny way. While it wasn’t his only commercial it is, in my opinion, one of the best. Hey, you even get to see Doug in a suit! So,…

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: The Best Bits!

It’s safe to say that everyone that is reading these entries remembers the first special in their own way. The program itself is so crammed with illusions and expert performances that it’s been difficult to decide what to include and what to sadly leave out. After Julie Newmar, the audience is treated to the umbrella and fire…

The First NBC Special: Julie Newmar

After some disappearing and reappearing birds and a little close-up magic with Bill Cosby, Doug gets to the nitty-gritty with this atmospheric box illusion. While shining a light inside and behind, it is revealed that absolutely nothing, I repeat nothing, is inside. Or is there? Ladies and Gentlemen, a totally random and 1970s avante-garde dance routine…

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…

Doug Henning Meet Captain Kangaroo!

“The Doug Henning Project” will be taking a much needed vacation for the remainder of the week and will return rested and wonder-filled this Monday, July 31st. I have something special planned for all of next week, so be sure not to miss it. Until then, enjoy these great clips of Doug on the Captain…

“Magic Show,” Marie Osmond, and More!

As promised here are today’s group of pictures that again range from the making of the “The Magic Show” movie to more of Doug’s NBC specials. Included in the first picture is actress Didi Conn who played Cal, Doug’s love interest in the televised “Magic Show.” Those with eagle-eyes will also probably know her better…

More Never Before Seen Pictures!

Boy do I have a treat for you! Over the next couple days I will be presenting extremely rare and candid shots of Doug and his crew preparing for “The Magic Show” television movie along with various NBC specials.  These photos not only show us the meticulous planning that went into every project, but also…

“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…

Martin Short is Doug Henning!!!

  Although a website is based on words, sometimes they’re just not necessary. Enjoy this hilarious clip of Martin Short as Doug from 1985’s appropriately named “Martin Short Comedy Special!” Special Thanks to Willy Cheyenne.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Doug!

Today I thought I’d feature a four minute vintage clip of Doug and Debby on the classic 1980s program “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” What’s cool about it is that it gives us a glimpse not only into Doug’s home, but his famed workshop where many of his illusions were developed.  Also, what I…

Coming to Providence!

I love this vintage 1986 commercial not only for its obvious camp value, but for the fact that it gives you a glimpse into Doug’s touring productions and promotions. It’s a great commercial in the sense that it’s most likely one of a few he used as he moved from town to town. It’s also…

Vault Treasures: Part Two

Welcome back for a just as exciting Part 2 as we continue to look at Steve Zigmont’s collection featuring many items from Doug’s famed NBC specials. Enjoy!

Vault Treasures: Part One

Not long ago retired magician and current effects specialist Steve Zigmont was generous enough to share with me pictures from his extensive collection of “Henning-ana!” Is that a word? Well, it is now. So, if you’ve ever wondered where some of Doug most priceless costumes, props, and posters ended up you are in for a…

The Magic of Minolta!

While not a television appearance in the traditional sense, this 1978 Minolta commercial highlights Doug in a different light: A commercial pitchman!  Aside from its obvious kitsch value, the commercial shows how much of a name Doug was at that time. Think about it. Have you ever really seen a magician before or since be a…

Pick a Card, any Card!

To cap off the week I thought I’d share this very unique and rare find that a fan from Doug’s hometown of Oakville, Ontario recently sent me. It’s one of Doug’s original business cards from that era, and I feel what really makes it stand out (apart from its historical value) is that Doug refers…

John Cox: Part Three

How do you think he bridged the gap between the magicians of old and the superstar ones we have today? Well he was the true bridge. You wonder would it have happened without him?…Doug Henning understood magic and the history of magic. So, he knew what principals worked and re-introduced them. He did an amazing…