Doug Henning's World of Magic
Doug Henning's World of Magic, Produced by talk show host David Suskind and sponsored by Mobil, aired live on Friday, December 26, 1975, on NBC with special guest Bill Cosby.
After eight months of design and rehearsal, the show ran live without commercials and began with an introduction by Gene Kelly. The first effect showed a close up on Doug's hands manipulating a nickel, then a jukebox production of Bill Cosby. He introduced a number of novel (for the time) illusions, including a version of De Kolta's Vanishing Lady (with special musical guest Lori Liberman) and concluded with an up-tempo version of Houdini's Water Torture Escape.
The special was the top rated show for the evening, with a reported 50 million viewers, making it the highest-rated magic special of all time. In this one-hour show more people saw Doug Henning's magic than saw Houdini during his entire lifetime. The show also won the Christopher Award for outstanding achievement.