Sunday, April 23, 2006

Doug Henning in Glorious Color!

Doug Henning produced nine magic specials. None of them are available to the public in any legal way. The movie version of his hit Broadway play The Magic Show is available on DVD, which is nice. But it would sure be fun to see flower child and long haired freaky person Doug interact with, say, Ann Jillion. (Yeah, I don't remember her either.)
Thanks to, possibly the greatest web site in the galaxy, we now can.



Blogger Brian said...

You don't remember Ann Jillian? She was cute, older but cute. Straight blonde hair and red lips.

She was on every show going in the late 70's early 80's: Love Boat, Fantasy Island &tc.

Probably cameoed as a stiff on that Police Show that always had a celebrity playing a stiff.

Here's a picture:

Oh, you know her my friend, you just don't know that you know her.

Who's this Doug Henning guy with Ann anyway?

5:17 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

If I remember correctly, she had to undergo a double mastectomy to combat breast cancer.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was compelled to mention a couple of things about Doug Henning:
His first special with the Water Torture Cell, and Ricky Jay was one of my all-time favorite magic moments in my life. To my ever-lasting chagrin, my Dad bought our first vcr one week to the day after that special, but I digress. I saw him perform in Berkeley in 1978, and in San Francisco in '81 (and got to meet him after the show)...This is a long way to lead to this point: When I was a young magi, just starting out, I fairly worshipped Doug Henning. I still do coins across and Han Ping Chien exactly the way Doug did it. At the beginning of his career he was transcendant. As the years went by, and he added the ever-dorkier space-suit costumes with the little boots like they wore on "Lost in Space"; by the end he was a pale charicature of the early magician. I LOVED Doug Henning, and so eagerly bought "The Magic Show" dvd, which was a taping they did much later than the original run, and did not feature the original Broadway cast. It breaks my heart to say it but I find that show to be ABSOLUTELY EMBARASSING AND COMPLETELY UNWATCHABLE. The music is so nail-screechingly bad, the supporting performances (by the evil magician and the actress from "Grease") it kills me when I remember how great he was in the 70s...So I suppose that is my major issue: that the dvd of the Magic Show is about the only available performance of Doug is a crime. Thank you for letting me vent.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Billp said...

Three words: Jennifer Slept Here.

I never saw much Henning, although i certainly knew who he was. A lot of the stuff I have seen of him seems pretty dated now, which is odd because other magic acts from a few decades ago seem to have held up just fine.


3:35 PM  
Anonymous dorny said...

So, what's the story on the Doug Henning magic specials ? Why are they not legally available for purchase on DVD ?

I agree with anonymous who said

"His first special with the Water Torture Cell, and Ricky Jay was one of my all-time favorite magic moments in my life."

I have very vivid memories of that show these many years later. The second and third Henning specials were also good. The later ones just got sillier and sillier and I imagine they are very dated, very camp at this point. But I would love to have those first specials, especially No. 1 . I saw Doug perform live a couple of times and he was great . I always thought the first couple of tv specials captured his appeal a lot better than the later ones.

10:26 PM  

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