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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Grand illusion » » Where would Doug be now?? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Chezaday
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What's going on here? The Café is lookin' pretty lame lately.

Here's something that crosses my mind now and then. Doug Henning was on the verge of a comeback only months before he passed away. I know there was an offer, years before all this, for a run in Vegas. Doug actually thought about for a day, then turned it down. Doug was a huge influence on me when I was just getting into magic back in the 70's. There are so many unanswered questions about Doug, why aren't the "World of Magic" specials on DVD?? Where's Debby and the "Wonder Whims?" Where is Doug's original Origami Box?? These are questions that need to be answered!

Steve
ricker
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leapinglizards
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I still have a wonder whim..... and letters from Doug to a me as a young magician 20 years ago. Doug and Harry Blackstone are both people I enjoyed and was happy to have gotten to know casually while I had the chance!
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
<BR>
<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
ricker
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I would have loved to have met Harry. Many say I look like him (see avatar) and I always loved his performances.

I saw Doug Henning live in 1983 in Atlanta. What a great show that was.
Laszlo Csizmadi
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In October 1999, Magic Magazine asked Henning: "If you could tell magicians one thing about Doug Henning's return to magic, what would it be?"

Henning answered: "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
silverking
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Hi Steve,
In Doug's Oct 1999 interview with David Charvet, he left no doubt that it wasn't the verge of a comeback, he WAS back.

I don't think many magicians can really understand just how "away" from magic Doug was for those 12 years he was working on Veda Land. It simply wasn't part of his life.
He instructed whoever was looking after his affairs stateside to sell all his illusions because it was being reported to him that the wood on some of them was starting to rot. He stated that he'd rather have others doing his original illusions than have them rot in his warehouse.

In 1999, as he planned his return, Doug had been offered a Broadway show, a TV special, two large consulting jobs, and a National tour of the States. He stated directly that he had not said "no" to any of them, but had a peace project in mind that he wanted to work on first, or at least concurently, with his magic comeback.

I share your interest in what Debbie is doing, and whether his estate has ever entered into discussions on an authorised biography, and what (if any) of his effects are still in the posession of his estate.
I know that his water torture cell is in Canada, and I've seen some of his other stuff on Magic Auction, and also on Martinka, but there's still a lot of stuff that would seem to need to be accounted for if Dougs history is to be preserved intact.

I've wondered here on the Café before why nothing big has ever been undertaken to preserve Doug's memory. There are still lots of guys active in magic, like Jim Steinmeyer, John Gaughan, and others who knew Doug well, and worked with him on his career.

I really miss Doug Henning, and his impact on magic is profound. It would be great to see a large, well funded project undertaken to preserve the magic and memory of one of magic's greats.

As LACI200 indicated above, Doug's quote stating we hadn't seen anything yet really does go a long way to indicate just what we lost when Doug passed away.
Chezaday
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Here's a fun bit of info about doughenning.com. I dared my good friend, Greg Mulvey, to enter the contest at the Houdini Club back around 1999, I think. At the time he kinda looked like Doug... he was thin and scrawny. We added a wig and a fake mustache and he became Doug... well, after a bit of my coaching. You see, Greg had never seen Doug perform, so he didn't even "get it". I got out some of my old tapes and he was hooked. Greg took first place in the contest... and went on to become a huge Henning fan. He actually runs the website I mentioned above and has been in touch with those closest to Henning and his wife. More will be released on the site on May third, which was Doug's birthday .. keep the wonder alive ..

Steve
Bryan Gilles
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I have to agree with many about Henning! Although I was still drinking from a bottle (well- one without a Corona logo!) Doug Henning's name was still synonymous with magic! I have several of his shows on VHS... he paved the road for the "modern-day magician" and brought life back into the old classic illusions. I have to say the Juke Box he produced Bill Cosby from and his Things That Go Bump are still my favorite illusions. If you get a chance, order "The Magic Show" on DVD! It has so many of Dougs great illusions (not to mention Didi Conn- who was always strangely cute in my opinion). I bet Doug would be selling three times as many sold out shows than good-'ol DC! I bet he would even perform each show as if it wasn't from a memorized script! Regardless, Doug's warming smile and unique style of performing will forever go down in magic history as one of the greatest illusionists...

Bryan
leapinglizards
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I have all the specials on VHS and when I occasionally watch them I still have to admire his creativity, personality and guts for doing all this stuff LIVE!
Leaping Lizards!!! Who knew it was possible.
<BR>
<BR>www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com
Irish_matt
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Didn't Kirby Van Burch end up with most of Dougs old props? I thought I had read years ago that he bought most of his old show and when I first seen Kirby in Branson many years ago half his set looked like a best-of from Doug's specials, including the Egyptian DeKolta chair performance.

Matt
Chezaday
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You are correct about the Van Burch Collection. He has most of the props that were auctioned off in the late 80's. Franz Harary also has many of the props from Doug's special .. including his silver basketball shoes .. cool stuff. Someone out there has Doug's Origmai .. I don't know who has that.

I'm spending way too much time here on the Café ..

Steve
Frank Simpson
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Well, I know where Doug's Zombie ended up... on my bookcase! Shortly before Doug's "retirement" sale it was given to me by one of the people who was beginning to catalog the warehouse.

It is just your standard zombie, nothing really special other than the fact it was Doug's. (It even has about 3 or 4 dents in it!) It is certainly one of my most cherished possessions.

I met Doug a few times, and he was such a nice fellow. What you saw onstage was what he was really like.
silverking
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Quote:
including the Egyptian DeKolta chair performance.


Here it is, yours for 50 grand.

http://www.magicauction.com/Mag_auc/illusion_pg3.htm
(scroll about a third of the way down the page)

If I had the cash, I'd not think twice about buying it!
rtgreen
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Does anyone remember Martin Short's imitation of Doug on SCTV. He was a guest on their "Merv Griffin Show" and he magically produced a selection of cheese samples from a dove pan. It was very funny.

Doug was a huge influence on my life and still to this day I ask myself, "How would Doug Henning handle this effect?" when I am learning a new routine. (Maybe I should print up some WWDD wrist bands for us die-hard Henning fans Smile )

To answer Steve's question about the Wonder Whims, I have four of them displayed in my office. They quite disturbed my wife when we were married, but I refused to take them down.

Thanks,
Richard
Frank Simpson
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Just last week I picked up Harry Shearer's new DVD, Harry Shearer: Now You See It. It has him impersonating David Copperfield "sealing Al Capone's Vault". And Martin Short shows up as Doug. It is an extremely funny segment!
Illusion77
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I think Copperfield has some of the original Henning items (maybe that's where Origami ended up)...

Although, wasn't it said that there were items that Doug held onto for years - maybe permanently?

There are lots of items that are unaccounted for - virtually all of the illusions from the specials. Wonder where those are?

Anyone know what Doug was specifically working on (effect wise) at the time of his retirement?
Chris Murphy
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Doug was a huge inspiration to me and, along with David Nixon, kickstarted my interest in magic. I'm still a fan and love watching his TV specials (when my wife's not around!). I remember when his comeback seemed like it was about to happen feeling that the time was probably just perfect for him again. I think he would be at the absolute pinnacle again if he were still with us.

As for his Origami, I'm pretty sure I recall reading somewhere that it was the only illusion he kept. If memory serves, he was also the first to present the illusion.

Chris.
Chris Murphy
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RandyStewart
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Unless Debbie chimes in and says otherwise, Henning's 'Origami' is probably lost in Copperfield's "catalogued" desert warehouse. Tucked away with all the other stuff he's forgotten about. That's OK, I hear its climate controlled - nice...

The magic auction site still has Henning's personal 'Sands of Egypt' for sale. Comes complete with actual wooden travel case and a few other of his personal effects. Most likely the very set he used when he performed it with Brook Shields on his TV special.

I think if I were to buy it, it would creep me out to soiled underwear. You have to realize I was just a kid when I saw him do the colored sands and I remember every, and I mean every, second of his performance. To suddenly, after all these years, have it hanging around the house. Geez...that would creep me out. I'll pass.

I'm also greatful that Henning had Shimada as a guest performer with magic I'd never seen.

In short, Doug Henning sure knew how to entertain me.
pepka
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I'm certainly no expert on Henning, but I read/heard the following somewhere. Steinmeyer originially came up with the Statue of Liberty vanish for Doug, and he passed on it. Jim presented it to David who of course ran with it and today it's still what the laymen remember about him. Anyone know if there is any truth to that?
Irish_matt
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The story of the liberty vanish is correct. Jim was Dougs consultant at the time and offered it to him first. I think it was mentioned in an interview with Jim Steinmeyer in Magic magazine a few years back.

Matt
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