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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Magic names and the media » » Doug Henning-greatest magician of his era?? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dannydoyle
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It is a simple matter of opinion on who is greatest anything of any time.

I think it is safe to say without doubt Doug made his mark on magic in a positive way which many could emulate and be proud.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Heres Tony
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Doug altered the perception that the public had of magic at that time. It seems to me anytime any type of performance "art" is pushed ahead when someone steps outside the box and does things in a different way. Doug made magic cool when it hadn't been cool for a long time. It doesn't matter whether or not you think he was the greatest at the time. What matters is that he was great and did great things for the art.
Keith Raygor
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Of the dozens and dozens of posters and one-sheets that have hung in my abode over the last 3 decades, only 3 remain hanging proudly - Doug, because of his vision, spirit and leadership; Lance, because of his kindness to an unknown (and I'm certain I'm not the only unknown with whom he's shared his time and knowledge), and Andy Dallas, because of his mentorship and passion.

I believe Doug Henning set the stage for all that followed.
Steve_Mollett
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Anyone remember Tom and Sherry?
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
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joseph
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Quote:
On 2008-12-25 09:41, Steve_Mollett wrote:
Anyone remember Tom and Sherry?


Which one was the cat again?... Smile ...
I remember their great dove act which I saw at Abbott's Get Together years ago.. Nice...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
JRob
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There is no question that Doug made a major contribution in the way the public viewed magic at the time. He certainly got many of us out of the stodgy tux-n-tails stereotype. That said I just cannot bring myself to call him the greatest of his era.
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Ken Northridge
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Doug’s greatest contribution to magic was his insistence to present his magic shows on TV live without commercials. Doug somehow knew this was the key for magic on TV, a point that some TV magicians of today are missing. I’m not denying the creative talent of Chris Angel and others, but it’s a different kind of talent. Just because a new technology exists does not mean one has to use it.

As you know, Doug was on his way to a come back before his untimely death. I often wonder how this great magician would have shaped this era.

Doug is also author of one of my favorite quotes, “Love is the real magic”
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
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Dennis Loomis
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To Ken,
While I echo most of your sentiments about Doug, his TV specials were not without commercials. Even back then, the TV Networks had to pay their bills (and their talent.)

He did his first few specials LIVE... or to be specific they were seen live in the Eastern Time Zone and rebroadcast without any editing to the other time zones.

This made things very difficult compared to taking the time to shoot, edit, reshoot where necessary, etc. Because of this there were some on-air difficulties which would have been edited out. I was always impressed that Doug started out one of his live specials with the great John Cornelius effect: Fickle Nickle. It's a wonderful vanish and reappearance of a coin, but has VERY delicate angle problems. It took courage to do that on live TV.

Dennis Loomis
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silverking
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I've not figured out why somebody like Jim Steinmeyer hasn't yet written and published Doug's life story.

With all the books that have been published in the last decade on the lives of magicians, a glaring empty spot is the missing biography of Doug Henning and his rise to the top of magic.

I sure hope somebody is working on this project while the folks who could help tell this story are all still healthy. Todd Karr, David Ben, Jim Steinmeyer.......there's a lot of folks who could do Doug proud.

Some of the key players in Doug's story have already dropped off the radar completely. Time is certainly not on the side of waiting another two or three decades before a major work on Doug is undertaken.

I'm one of those folks who believes that anybody performing contemporary magic of any type, is doing so in Doug Hennings brilliant shadow.
Dannydoyle
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I will say one thing about Doug. He inspired me into magic in the first place.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Dennis Loomis
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As to a Henning biography. I am doing a series of my own recollections of Doug for MUM magazine. The first appears in the February 2009 issue which has been printed and is on it's way to subscribers.

Todd Karr told me that Jim Steinmeyer may be writing a full book about Doug. That would be great.

I've also been told that John Harrison has written a book about Doug which is just about to be released. Wish I had more details, but apparently John interviewed a lot of folks.

Dennis Loomis
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Donal Chayce
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Thanks for the heads up, Dennis. I look forward to reading your article(s), and I'd greatly enjoy reading both of the books you referenced if/when they're released.
Bridgewater
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I saw Doug Henning in "The Magic Show" in 1976. Standard tricks (Chinese sticks anyone?) but hardly a standard performance. I still consider it the best magic show, and one of the best shows of any kind, I've ever seen. Not only was Henning among the best of his era, I'd count him among a very small group of the best ever. A weird guy, but a great, great magician.
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Dennis Loomis
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Bridgewater,
Not sure what you mean when you say that Doug was a "weird guy." First of all, he was exactly the same onstage and off. You saw Doug's real personality on the stage and on the screen. He was quite down to earth and very approachable especially in his younger years.

Perhaps your comment relates to his interest in Transcendental Meditation. It certainly became his all consuming passion and eventually led to his retiring from magic. That's unfortunate, I suppose, but Doug's life was his to live. He was involved with TM from very early in his career and often credited his success to it.

When he was taken from us at a pretty young age, he was planning a comeback into magic. It would have been interesting to see what he could have accomplished had he lived longer.

I have written and submitted the second article on Doug for MUM which will appear in the April issue. The first one appears in the February issue and details that wonderous night when Doug and I first saw Walter Blaney's Stepladder Suspension. I believe it to be one of the top two or three illusions of the last millenium and Doug and I were just totally fried... as were most of the other magicians when they first saw it.

Dennis Loomis
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Bridgewater
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Dennis,
A grown man wearing unicorns and rainbows on his clothes, even in the 70's, strikes me as unconventional. And to be blunt, the whole "VedaLand" thing was just loopy. But the fact that he made his rather offbeat persona work for him as a performer simply magnifies his talent.
"Don't run with those..."
critter
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I think Doug Henning did the most for magic during his peak.
I don't know if he was the best. There were a lot of past masters still alive at that time and there are often brilliant magicians that are not as widely known to the general public, like Reed McClintock nowadays.
I don't know. Was Teller performing yet? I like Teller.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Dennis Loomis
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There is a rumor that a book on Doug Henning by John Harrison is to be released in March. I have some misgivings because I just don't know if he's the right guy for this task. I wish him well and am anxiously awaiting news of his book.

The guy that should do this is Jim Steinmeyer as someone noted earlier in the thread. Yes, Jim knew Doug well and worked with Doug on many projects starting (if memory serves) with Doug's 6th TV special. Jim is a great writer and an excellent researcher and would do a great job.

In the mean time, I hope that the Harrison book, if it is released, is a good one. Doug deserves an excellent biography as he was an excellent performer.

Dennis Loomis
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Dennis Loomis
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I just heard from John Harrison and his book on Henning is nearly completed. He says that it will be available in August. Several well known magicians have seen the book and have said some good things about it. I do hope that I was wrong about John being the right person to do this. He assures me that he did a lot of research and based on a quote from Charlie Reynolds, the book will be very good. John has offered to send me the uncorrected proofs to look at. When I get them and have read them, I'll report back to this thread.

In the mean time, I have done three articles on Doug for MUM and am working on the fourth.

Dennis Loomis
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joseph
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Quote:
On 2006-09-25 22:11, thehawk wrote:
Henning was great, he is sadly missed.


And I also enjoyed watching his beautiful wife/assistant Debby...
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Einstein)...
Dennis Loomis
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According to my pal Tim Trono at Murphys the new John Harrison book will most likely be "rolled out" at the MAGIC LIVE convention.

Murphys will likely be handling the book and I think that's great news. They are the biggest magic wholesaler and, in my opinion, the best.

Dennis Loomis
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<BR>http://www.loomismagic.com
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