Showing posts with label Doug Henning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doug Henning. Show all posts

26 September 2018

Help Neil McNally fund “Doug Henning’s Magical World”

From the September 24th post, '“Doug Henning’s Magical World” Indiegogo Funding Begins Today!' at The Doug Henning Project:

Hello Everyone, 

It’s been a long road, but here we are!

The funding for my documentary “Doug Henning’s Magical World” begins today on Indiegogo and I hope you all will consider donating.

As I mentioned, this will be the first feature length documentary regarding Doug’s life and work and features many of Doug’s close friends and collaborators. Please share the links with anyone you may know. Doug deserves a project of this scale, and I’d love for you to contribute to its creation.

The links are:

Official Doug Henning Indiegogo Page

Official Movie Website

With Magic and Wonder, 

Neil McNally

Read more and donate.

 From the YouTube channel of Doug Henning's Magical World:

19 August 2018

Dear Micky Hades. From Doug Henning.

From Neil McNally's Twitter feed:
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21 May 2018

The Magic Word with Scott Wells

For those of you who don't already know, Scott Wells hosts a podcast for magicians.

Recently, he's published a few which may be of interest to you!

From "410 - Carisa Hendrix - Getting Uncomfortable" on The Magic Word Podcast:
Carisa Hendrix is a magician who is on the rise. Oh, also, she happens to be a woman. She is one of the new breed who I believe is one of the "Stars of Tomorrow" as she pursues her dreams on stage. Most young people I see today seem to be involved in close-up and entertaining small groups of people, but few true entertainers are comfortable on stage in front of a large audience. Carisa is one of that rare breed.

She suggests that we should step out of our comfort zone and try new things that stretch our boundaries and move into new, perhaps uncomfortable, areas that will make us better performers and people. She says that artists should practice "moving towards the place of greatest discomfort and just sitting in that space." She suggests that magicians should not be afraid to fail.

On another matter, there was quite a bit of controversy about her July 2017 cover on VANISH Magazine. She addresses it quite well and succinctly on her blog.

Read more and listen to podcast.

From "423: Neil McNally - The Doug Henning Project" on The Magic Word Podcast:
Neil McNally is a passionate man. He is most passionate about Doug Henning and he hosts a weekday blog called "The Doug Henning Project". Who could imagine that there would be that much to reveal about this iconic figure. We recently "hit a nerve" with the podcast #415 with Chip Romero as that episode was one of our most downloaded podcast. So, it was a natural thing to chat with the webmaster of "The Doug Henning Project" so those who are interested in Doug Henning could learn even more. Neil is not a performing magician though he is taking lessons at The Magic Castle. But his passion is history and collecting of Doug Henning. He is also producing a documentary on Doug Henning and will soon be crowd funding his project.

Read more and listen to podcast.

And one from the archives.

From "201 - Murray Sawchuck - Celebrity Magician" on The Magic Word Podcast:
Murray Sawchuck recently completed two and a half years at the Tropicana's Laugh Factory in Las Vegas. On December 20, 2014, he will begin a new afternoon show at Planet Hollywood's "Sincity Theater" along his wife, Chloe, and his partner, Lefty. Murray will add illusions to his comedy magic show plus bring in different aspects of his other appearances on television such as "Pawn Stars" and other shows.

During our conversation, Murray talked about his upcoming appearance on Hallmark's Home & Family morning talk show. After you have listened to the podcast, then be sure to come back to watch this video. The other two videos below are from a couple of his appearances on "America's Got Talent" (sic).

Read more and listen to podcast.

[With thanks to The Magic Demon for sending this along.]

22 March 2018

Who are the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

Updated April 3rd at 6pm to add the following nominations:
  • Celeste Evans and Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
Updated March 31st at 9pm to add the following nominations:
  • Greg Frewin and Mahdi Gilbert
Updated March 29 at 7am to add the following nominations:
  • Billy Kidd, Carisa Hendrix, Joan Caesar, and Julie Eng
Updated March 24 at 10am to add the following nominations:
  • Alain Choquette, David Drake, Mickey Hades, and Shin Lim
Updated March 23 at 9am add the following nominations:
  • Bob Farmer, Carl Coultier, Francis Martineau, Gary Ouelette, Howard P. Lions, Mel Stover, Romaine, Roy Cotte, Tom Ransom, Tony Eng, Willis Kinney
Updated March 23 at 7am add the following overnight nominations:
  • Additional submissions:  Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian, Bill Abbott, Bobby Motta, Dale Harney, Eric Leclerc, Johnny  Giordmaine, Juliana Chen, Leon Mandrake, Sid Lorraine, Stewart James, Ron Leonard, and Vincent C
Updated at 12:15pm to add:
  • Additional submissions: Darcy Oake, Luc Langevin, Murray Hatfield, Ross Bertram, Tom Auburn
Updated at 10:15am to add:
  • The following names have been submitted for consideration:  Chris Ramsay, Dai Vernon, David Acer, David Ben, Doug Henning, Gary Kurtz, James Randi, Jay Sankey, Martin Nash, Richard Sanders, Shawn Farquhar

Complete list of nominations received (alphabetical by first name):

  1. Alain Choquette
  2. Bedros "Spidey" Akkelian
  3. Bill Abbott
  4. Billy Kidd
  5. Bob Farmer
  6. Bobby Motta
  7. Carisa Hendrix
  8. Carl Coultier
  9. Celeste Evans
  10. Chris Ramsay
  11. Dai Vernon
  12. Dale Harney
  13. Darcy Oake
  14. David Acer 
  15. David Ben
  16. David Drake
  17. Doug Henning
  18. Francis Martineau
  19. Eric Leclerc
  20. Gary Kurtz
  21. Gary Ouelette
  22. Greg Frewin
  23. Howard P. Lions
  24. James Randi
  25. Jay Sankey
  26. Joan Caesar
  27. Joel Machtinger
  28. Johnny Giordmaine
  29. Juliana Chen
  30. Julie Eng
  31. Leon Mandrake
  32. Luc Langevin
  33. Mahdi Gilbert
  34. Martin Nash
  35. Mel Stover
  36. Mickey Hades
  37. Murray Hatfield
  38. Reveen The Impossiblist (Reveen Sr.)
  39. Richard Sanders
  40. Romaine
  41. Ron Leonard
  42. Ross Bertram
  43. Roy Cotte
  44. Shawn Farquhar 
  45. Shin Lim
  46. Sid Lorraine
  47. Stewart James
  48. Tom Auburn
  49. Tom Ransom
  50. Tony Eng
  51. Vincent C
  52. Willis Kinney

Devon Murphy recently posted the article, "Top Canadian Magicians and the Tricks That Made Them Famous," at the CBC website.  Devon lists seven outstanding magicians (Julie Eng, Dai Vernon,  Doug Henning, Billy Kidd, Mahdi Gilbert, Greg Frewin, and David Ben).  (Of note, two of the seven on that list are recipients of the "Editor's Choice Award" in the Canada's Magic "Readers' Choice Award" festivities.)

Devon's list got me wondering.

Who do you, dear readers, consider to be the top 10 Canadian magicians of all time?

For those of you who don't like to be influenced by the decisions of others, we're going to start with a clean slate and let you choose all ten!

Submit your nominations in the comment form below,* by 11:59PM EDT on Friday April 6th.  You may nominate as many Canadian magicians as you like.  (Number of nominations don't influence the vote.  If you see your choice(s) listed, please refrain from submitting duplicates.)  Voting will open shortly thereafter.  

What say you?  Who are your top (living or dead) Canadian magicians of all time?

* or email me.  I'll send a confirmation back to let you know I received your email.

18 March 2018

Society of Canadian Magicians “Levitator” from May/June 1974

If you aren't following Neil McNally's blog, The Doug Henning Project, I encourage you to do so.  He regularly updates on fascinating nuggets from Doug's life.

On March 8th, he published some images from Richard Sherry from the Society of Canadian Magicians publication “Levitator” May/June 1974 “Magic Show” Article.

A nice trip down memory lane!

16 July 2017

Recently at "The Doug Henning Project"

From the Facebook page of The Doug Henning Project:

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15 June 2017

Emily presents "Magic Manitoba" as part of the Red River Heritage Fair

Nine year old Emily T from Winnipeg, chose "Magic Manitoba" as her topic for this year's Red River Heritage Fair.  Visit Canada's History for Kids to watch the video that Emily prepared.  Her mom Linda, reached out to tell us that this project has been entered into a national history competition.

Watch Emily talk about Len Vintus, Doug Henning, Dean Gunnarson, and Philip Hornan. 

Don't forget to give her a vote if you liked what you saw!

07 June 2017

The Doug Henning Project interviews John Cox

From Wild About Houdini:
Neil McNally's new blog The Doug Henning Project is going strong with terrific interviews with Milt Larsen, John Gaughan, and Jim Steinmeyer. This week Neil is sharing a multipart interview with, gasp, me!
So only after you finish reading Neil's interview with those far more interesting and deserving members of the magic community, check out my blather. Neil and I did have a great time conducting this interview over Friday Lunch at the Magic Castle.
Read more and listen to interview.

07 May 2017

The Doug Henning Project

From John Cox at Wild About Houdini:
Our good friend Neil McNally, who in the past has provided us with several excellent Guest Blog posts, has now launched his own blog devoted to the great Doug Henning. Neil has been working at this for some time and has amassed a fantastic amount of information and exclusive interviews.
Read more.

Visit The Doug Henning Project.

10 July 2016

Television magicians from decades long gone

Two Canadians in the top 8!

From Me TV Chicago's article "8 Magicians Who Dazzled Us on TV as Children":
With his bedazzled overalls and beaming smile, Henning was the perfect man to introduce children to the world of magic, a lovable character akin to Gallagher or Slim Goodbody. The Canadian first broke in this country on Broadway, earning a Tony nom for his 1974 production, The Magic Show. A year after that opening, 50 million viewers tuned in for the TV special Doug Henning's World of Magic. The escape artist and lover of Houdini went on to create stage tricks for Earth, Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson tours.

James Randi is as well known for his skepticism as his illusions. The performer famously offered $1,000 (then $10,000, then $1,000,000) to anyone who could prove the existence of the supernatural. He's still waiting to pay out. Randi, seen here on the cover of Dynamite magazine, had a mission to expose charlatans posing as naturally gifted psychics. He would especially work to debunk the following man, his nemesis…
 Read more.

20 June 2016

Grand champion magician honoured at the 2016 Academy of Magical Arts awards

As a follow-up to this post, read the official press release from the Greg Frewin Theatre:
Hollywood, California - May 16th, 2016 EST - The Academy of Magical Arts delightfully announced Greg Frewin as the 2015 recipient of the Performing Fellowship Award. Established in 1968, the award recognizes outstanding achievement and significant contribution to the performance art of magic.  Frewin is the 2nd Canadian in the Academy’s history to have won this award.

"We were honored to bestow Greg with the Performing Fellowship for his great work in his Niagara Falls theatre," commented Academy of Magical Arts President, Randy Sinnott. “Greg has done a tremendous job advancing the Art, and with his creativity and energy and his year round/full-evening show has created a positive image of magic for the thousands that have seen him perform."

Frewin performs nightly at his own theatre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He and his long-running production have become one of magic's great destinations in the world.

Previous to owning and running his own theatre in Canada, Frewin appeared on stages all over the world, including Caesars Palace, Tropicana and Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, Showboat in Atlantic City, Crystal Palace Casino in Nassau, Bahamas, the fabulous Genting Resort in Malaysia, Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia. He has also appeared on over 35 television programs, including NBC's World's Greatest Magic, ABC's Champions of Magic, CW's Masters of Illusion, and his own three-part CBC special Magic Man: Home for the Holidays.

"It's a great honour to be singled out by the Academy of Magical Arts & Magic Castle," Frewin remarked after learning of the award. "Bringing the prestigious fellowship home to Canada means so much to me, my family, and those who share my vision at the theatre. Moreover, I feel extra special to win because world renowned Illusionist Doug Henning, my childhood hero, is the only other Canadian to ever win this award. I'm in excellent company!"

"Greg Frewin's influence on magic is deep and broad," said Vittoria Wikston, the General Manager of the Greg Frewin Theatre. “He performs nightly entertaining thousands of people from different walks of life, all while creating lifelong devotees of magic in the process. Additionally, Frewin tirelessly demonstrates that if you keep focused, committed and true to yourself then you will attain your dreams. Now that's real magic!"

Among Frewin's awards are 'Magician of The Year' from the World Magic Awards, First Place in the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) competition of professional magicians, The Gold Medal of Excellence, First Place at the Society of American Magicians (SAM) annual magic convention competition, and First Place at FISM, the Olympics of magic.

Driven by the promotion and development of the art of magic, The Academy of Magical Arts is the proud founder of the Performance Fellowship award. Since its inception almost fifty years ago, the AMA has continually been a passionate advocate for the magical arts.


For more information about the magic of Greg Frewin visit the official website:

And from the Greg Frewin Theatre Twitter feed:

16 May 2016

Greg Frewin: 2016 winner of the AMA Performing Fellowship

Congratulations Greg!

According to Lee Asher, the only other Canadian to receive this award was Doug Henning.

Read Richard Kaufman's post at the Genii forums to find out all of the other award winners from last night.

From the AMA Twitter feed:
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13 February 2016

Canadians on the list of "Top Ten Magicians of the 20th Century"

Have a look over at The Top Tens and see how Doug Henning, Dai Vernon, Shawn Farquhar, and Shin Lim are ranking in their list of "Top Ten Magicians of the 20th Century."

While you're there, add your vote!

22 May 2015

New insight into the John Giordmaine - Doug Henning connection

From the curator of the Johnny Giordmaine tribute site:
I am very excited to bring you news about the latest addition to, the online tribute to Canada's most beloved children's magician (Johnny Giordmaine, 1898-1974).
Brian Lumley, who used to work for Doug Henning, provides the first ever-in-print anecdotal evidence of Johnny's influential mentorship with Doug. 
Since I reposted Doug's 1989 "retirement from magic" letter last December (first published in Genii) in which he thanked "the late John Giordmaine" ahead of Dai Vernon, Slydini, Jay Marshall and others, I have tried to find a reason why Doug thanked Johnny first and foremost. Theirs must have been a very special kind of mentorship and friendship but nowhere in any of the magical history literature has there ever appeared any documented evidence for it. 
Until now. 
Brian Lumley recalls a very special "Spellbound" backstage tour in late December 1973 which Doug gave Johnny mere hours before Johnny's heart attack which would ultimately prove fatal. With this breakthrough recollection we at long last have the very first eyewitness account in print of what it meant to Doug to have Johnny as a friend and mentor. 
Only now can we really begin to appreciate the reasons why Doug Henning thanked "the late John Giordmaine" first in his "letter of retirement". 
This story appears nowhere else to date to the best of my knowledge. It will hopefully open the door to future further research into Johnny's pivotal influence on arguably Canada's most internationally famous magician of the 20th century. 
You can read all about it, exclusively, here:

18 January 2015

And now for some Doug Henning videos

From the Johnny Carson YouTube channel:

[via iTricks]

And one from Clive Court's Facebook page:

28 November 2014

11/2014 update to the Johnny Giordmaine tribute site

From the curator of the Johnny Giordmaine tribute site:
John Giordmaine tribute news., the online tribute to Canada's most beloved children's magician (1898-1974), has posted an interim update to welcome new visitors from the Society of American Magicians who have read the featured article about Johnny in MUM's December 2014 issue.

All other visitors are also very welcome!

This update features Doug Henning's 1989 "retirement from magic " letter published in GENII. Visitors may be surprised to read that Doug thanked "the late John Giordmaine" first and foremost for helping him "so much over the years" - even before Dai Vernon, Slydini or Jay Marshall!

There are now over 50 pages about Johnny and his inspiring legacy in magic. Remembrances are always very welcome; contact information is on the site, which is:  

22 July 2014

Classifieds: Own a piece of magic history

The following is a classified ad from David Merry.  For more information, or to make an offer, contact Dave directly.


Own a piece of magic history.

I am just about to buy an amazing piece of comedy memorabilia and am putting up a magic four pack of autographs from my collection. They are Houdini (a letter with his actual signature from 1926) and pictures framed. Blackstone Sr. (from 1949) an actual Merlin playbill signed by Doug Henning and Chita Rivera from early 1980’s) and David Copperfield see attached pictures. I thought I’d put it out to my friends in Canada first before the open market $2500.

Houdini letter with his actual signature:

Houdini letter (above) and pictures framed

Blackstone Sr.:

Signed Merlin playbill:

David Copperfield:

21 July 2014

Spot the Canadian

Trick question, of course.

From the IBM Facebook page:

07 September 2013

Once upon a time, Doug Henning hired a struggling comedian