Monday, January 15, 2018

Doug Henning talks Houdini with Bob Lund

The Doug Henning Project has posted video of Doug and Debby Henning guest hosting a Detroit morning show called Kelly & Company in the 1980s. It's a remarkable 58 minutes, but what will be of special interest to Houdini buffs is Doug's interview with Bob Lund of the American Museum of Magic. They discuss Houdini at length, and Bob shows a coin tray that belonged to Houdini (I love it when Debby just wants to touch it). Doug also shows a collection of letters Houdini wrote to an executive of the Ford Motor Co. Unfortunately, they don't explain what those letters were about.

There's a lot here to love, so click on over to The Doug Henning Project and have a watch. The Bob Lund interview starts at 43:35.

UPDATE: Thanks to Chuck Romano, I now know what those letters were about. Houdini was corresponding with Fred Black, the assistant to the president of American Motor Co, who has done some research into the Booth family on behalf of Henry Ford. Houdini was fascinated with the Booths and John Wilkes Booth in particular. Lund penned a three part series about the correspondence called "Afterword on Houdini" for Abracadabra starting in the July 21, 1956 issue.



  1. Many thanks for this info and I have enjoyed watching the program in question. I really enjoyed watching Doug's shows when they were broadcast on British Television and still have two of them on video tapes (must get around to converting them to dvd)as well as the soundtrack LP of his 'The Magic Show'. Thank you for your dedication in providing this website.

    1. Thanks Karl. That's great that you have two of the specials taped. I love The Magic Show LP.

    2. If you hear of anyone desperate to have one of these records in their collection, I do have a spare one in almost mint condition. Also a spare 'Man Of Magic' original cast Lp with complimentary backup archive CD (sorry, the CD has to remain with the record owing to copyright rules).

  2. What a great video - to see Doug & Debby interacting more as "themselves", rather than their more theatrical stage personas.

    "Dougy" was gracious enough to pretend to not know WHO the photograph of Houdini was, nor what the "spirit trumpet" was for...allowing the guest (Bob Lund) to be 'in the spotlight', and to talk on the subject. As a collaborator on a book about Houdini (1977), Doug could have easily pulled a "know-it-all" attitude.

    The Magic World truly misses him.

  3. It turns out that Bob Lund's series in ABRA on this correspondence was in 7 parts (not 3). According to an article by David Meyer about Bob in Yankee Magic Collector #18, in 1965 he was planning to put out a pamphlet about this correspondence. That never happened, alas.

    1. Thanks for the info, Richard. Dang, wish he would have released that pamphlet!


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