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Doug Henning

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 15:00
by Allen Tipton

Don't rub the lamp Mandrake.
Look in
David Devant's Secrets of My Magic, for the original. (pages 85 to 91)
Jim Steinmayer's Art & Artifice (there's 26 pages on it 50 to 76)
Paul Daniels, dressed as an Artist, for The Artist's Dream did it.

Read the new Doug Henning book and see the difficulties.

Then stick to the 6 Card Repeat or the Stamp Album (private joke)
Easier & safer.

Allen Tipton

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 15:13
by daleshrimpton
i suspect that the rub the lamp comment was a wish to do it one day. :)

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 16:01
by Mandrake
You're both right, I've been rubbing in anticipation rather than expectation :D !

I read the account of how Mascot Moth was devised and staged and it was fascinating to see how much aggro and trouble went into a seemingly simple effect. It's impossible I know but I'd love to have seen David Devant's performance of it - come to think of it, I'd love to have seen anything done by the greats of yesteryear!

OK, back to the 5 card repeat - I'm not ready for six cards yet...

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 16:06
by daleshrimpton
I dont think that the version that Paul Daniels did, was quite the same as the henning/merlin version.
I recall coresponding with Paul at the time of transmition. :)

Doug Henning

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 16:35
by Allen Tipton
No one does any illusion the same as the other man.

Looking at PD's he seemed to vanish the Moth in a slightly different way but that may be Television angles.

Devant used it, as others have, with The Artist's Dream.

Steinmayer's version had many problems to solve.
It is a tricky illusion to present CORRECTLY EVERY PERFROMANCE. So much can go wrong.
Allen Tipton

PostPosted: Sep 15th, '09, 16:41
by daleshrimpton
I seem to remember that Paul said the vanish was slower, which is why he had to stand in front of it.

Ali devised a variation, using a huge 6ft silk. It was created for the murder mystery play Abracadaver, staring Frank Langella.
which i was lucky enough to see, and if you search the on line Abra index,( if it still exists) My review was posted.

the Ilusion was deemed to good to chuck, so it found a place, in the magic show.( It was an oriental themed one)

PostPosted: Sep 16th, '09, 07:55
by Craig Browning
I remember well, seeing the MM Vanish and how Peter and I both nearly cried it was so elegant; it was as if the girl raises up off the floor and simple dematerializes.

I do believe there is footage of Merlin, quite a bit of it. But the Henning estate has kept is "sealed" for lack of a better term. I don't recall all of the scuttlebutt around it, but as I remember things Doug simply didn't want to share something with the world that was but a pale shadow of the actual production... video just don't do it justice and knowing how certain effects, such as the floating sphere in the opening felt from being in the audience, I can more than understand Doug's position with things.

:cry: this has been a very emotionally driven few days when it comes to memories of the past. Been collecting stories about Kirkham of late, in hopes of composing a Biographical on him and his amazing life within magic and the movies. Who knows, I might even tackle the life & times of Peter Pit after that, he was one of the other major influences in my early adult years :lol:

PostPosted: Sep 16th, '09, 08:58
by daleshrimpton
i should get around to buying the muppet show dvds.
I cant remember seeing the one with doug, ( lets face it it was years ago!!) but i must of, i saw every single one.Indeed i have many on tape....( also faded)


PostPosted: Nov 23rd, '09, 23:38
by jim ferguson
For those who havent seen this before (and for those who have :) ) heres a clip of the Enchanted Cube and the C**p Cup, beautifully performed by Doug

PostPosted: Feb 19th, '10, 00:50
by JakeThePerformer
Yes! I loved that episode of The Muppet Show!
There really isn't that much footage of Doug around. I have The Magic Show DVD. Too bad Merlin recordings aren't out.
And what is this about keeping the footage sealed? Was there some sort of illusion secret that would have been noticed?

Doug on Joan Rivers show

PostPosted: Feb 5th, '11, 06:40
by Magic & Illusions of
Thanks I just remember that I have a VHS copy of Doug on the Joan Rivers Show in 1986. I will have to get it transferred to DVD

Doug was awesome. I even had a jump suit I wore way back when, there is a picture of me dressed like that on my blog.

I even collected the Wonder Whims he & Debby made & I still have 4 of them, in a showcase.

PostPosted: Mar 25th, '11, 04:45
by JakeThePerformer

Re: Doug Henning

PostPosted: May 16th, '14, 17:14
by Mandrake
A little late in the day but thanks Jake, I've watched that clip several times in the last three years or so - fantastic stuff!

Readers of Magic Magazine will know that the current issue has many pages devoted to Doug and The Magic Show as it's now an unbelievable 40 years since it was staged - well worth buying and reading.

The Doug Henning Project

PostPosted: May 15th, '17, 14:06
by Mandrake
Bumpety Bump!! featured this last Saturday:

    Neil McNally writes: For all those interested in the art and magic of Doug Henning a new website "The Doug Henning Project" has been launched. Over the coming days and weeks you will see new interviews with legendary magic designers, friends of Doug, and admirers. The goal is to bring a greater understanding to what he brought to magic and, in the process, put it in a fresh and new historical context. Visit:

Re: Doug Henning

PostPosted: Aug 12th, '18, 19:11
by Sarasate
The only video I could find of Doug's Mascot Moth is a TV advertisement for the Merlin Broadway Show. Starting at second 20, here it is....