-->"A smile is the shortest distance between two people."

'''Victor Borge''' (19092000) was a man who combined two very distinctive forms of entertainment--classical piano music and StandUpComedy--into one amazing whole. He himself was an exceptionally talented pianist, but rolled along with general comedy and making fun of his own craft. He had his own show in the 50's and 60's, ''The Victor Borge Show'', that was largely a musical showcase but also demonstrate his deft comedic tone.

Among his most famous routines include "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw Phonetic Punctuation]]," his battle with a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVIHyfvPceo soprano]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WvfoFTSk3c soloist]] (where he was [[BerserkButton very particular about her not touching his piano]]), working [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajg7FlPv0HU Happy Birthday]] into other works, and entire sections where he would [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rczpLa8wuhA turn familiar jingles]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZaLo0JfT6E on their head]].

[[HeAlsoDid Apart from his music]], he helped popularize the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornish_game_hen Cornish game hen]] in the United States in TheSixties.

He was born Børge Rosenbaum in Denmark, and kept a thick accent his entire life. He became an American citizen just before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, as his wife was American (he also once publicly denounced Hitler and it was simply safer for him and his family on the other side of the world -- that and the fact that he was Jewish). He remained active in performing his entire life, including many shows in his home country of Denmark. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 91, but people are still rediscovering his routines today.

!!Borge and his work provide examples of:

* BaitAndSwitchComment: one of his standby gags was to tell the audience that the Steinway people had asked him to announce that he was playing [[ThisLoserIsYou a Baldwin piano]] (or vice versa). He also front-loaded a ton of them into his Mozart opera sketch.
-->"Next, the chorus comes in, and no one knows why except Mozart. And he is dead."\\
"Then, the baritone comes in and sings, ''Toreador, en garde''. But he finds out that he is in [[Theatre/{{Carmen}} the wrong opera]]."\\
"Now, her father comes in, and he is the basso. And he is very angry because he has just found out that [[MamasBabyPapasMaybe she is not his daughter]]. Now that has nothing to do with the opera, I just found that out myself! And that's what we call 'research'."
** This wasn't limited to music-related humor. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiTCMdoVnGk In one performance]], Victor describes the wife of one of his brothers.
--> "She is very cute, his wife. She's typically Danish and (so is) her family. These strong-looking people, you know, pot-bellied and wispy-mustached. Even the men look funny in that family."
* BrickJoke: Often utilized whenever one page's worth of sheet music is either discarded or given to someone in the audience. Victor would play the first part of a familiar tune (such as the first three notes of Beethoven's Fifth), only to play the last note or two after either finding it on the floor or having it handed back to him.
* BrawnHilda: In describing [[Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart]]'s ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'', Victor describes an operatic singer who "not only fills part of the soprano, she ''overflows'' it".
--> "Her measurements are 36-24-36, and her other arm is just as heavy. She stands about 4 1/2 feet tall--lying down."
* BrokenRecord: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWqFaGwNCMU Demonstrated here]], in which his page-turning assistant doesn't know when to turn the page.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: As Victor describes the event of ''The Magic Flute'', a tenor appears in a small forest, represented by two giant trees. After the tenor performs his song in the first scene, he hides behind one of the trees, never to be seen or heard from for the rest of the sketch.
* FanNickname: "The Clown Prince of Denmark", "The Great Dane"
* GenreBusting
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "Why are there ''three'' pedals on this grand piano? [[BiggusDickus Who do they think I am]]?"
** "If there are children in the audience, I cannot perform the second half in the nude. I'll wear a tie. The long one. [[OverlyLongGag The very long one.]]"
* LiteralMinded: How does Victor handle following an opera singer performing [[Music/ElvisPresley "It's Now or Never"]]? [[spoiler:[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTwrqKPogiI Moving the piano, of course!]]]]
* {{Malaproper}}: He introduced the 'Cara Nome' aria from ''Theatre/{{Rigoletto}}'' as "the 'Cockamamie' aria from ''Rigor Mortis'', by... by.. by all means. That is, by Guisseppe Verdi. Joe Green to you."
** He also referred to Debussy's "Clair de Lune" as "Clear the Saloon".
** Victor would also refer to Music/FranzSchubert's "Seranade" as "Sara Nude".
* MartialArtsAndCrafts: The only way to explain [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyArTMtgT1w&feature=related his rendition of Hungarian Rhapsody #2]] with a fellow pianist. This was faithfully recreated on ''Series/TheMuppetShow'' where he did the same thing with Rowlf, which is difficult enough with two humans.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: He often pretended that he didn't know how to play piano at the beginning of his concerts, and would complain that the stagehand didn't mark the Middle C key on his keyboard. But he was in fact a virtuoso pianist.
** During one bit, he started playing ''On The Beautiful Blue Danube'', noticed something sounded more than a little off, started again ("That's what it says!"), then realized the sheet music was upside down.
* PianoKeyWave: He had a comedy bit where his piano sounds wrong... so he takes the row of keys out, flips them, and it sounds perfect.
* PinballScoring: "Inflationary Language", in which numeric-sounding words and syllables are incremented by one. As an example, if the line was originally written, "I ate a tenderloin with a fork", it would be reread as "I nined an elevenderloin with a fivek."
* RunningGag: sneaking "Happy Birthday" into various songs. Once did this as a full routine where he played it in the style of various composers.
* SesameStreetCred: He advocated buckling your seat-belts when on the show... because you never know when you'll slide off your piano bench.
** He also performed Phonetic Punctuation on ''Series/TheElectricCompany1971'' to illustrate punctuation marks
** And of course, was the guest star of an episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow''
* [[ShownTheirWork Shown His Work]]: Nobody could poke fun at music like he did unless they knew as much about it as he did.
** He would also play a strange-sounding tune, stop after a few bars, and turn the sheet music upside down or sideways. As soon as he started again, the tune became instantly recognizable. His botched attempt was in fact what the tune would sound like if someone tried to play it with the sheet music turned about.
* SpecialGuest: Victor Borge has interacted with many performers, including a ''Musical'' Phonetic Punctuation piece with DeanMartin.
* SublimeRhyme: Victor frequently did this whenever attempting to play from Music/DmitriShostakovich's sheet music.
--> '''Victor:''' And now, a little Shostakovich. ''[[{{Beat}} (confused pause)]]'' Just a moment!
* SuperOCD: In one bit he was trying to play "Camptown Races" but felt something was wrong with the piano. He got up from his bench and moved the entire piano about a foot and started playing the song correctly in a lower octave.
** Moving the piano over was a recurring gag for him.
* TakeThat: Victor was certainly no fan of contemporary composer Music/DmitriShostakovich. Whenever the time came to perform Shostakovich, Victor would play random notes in a brash, chaotic manner.
--> '''Victor:''' We're gonna wait 'til he gets sober.
** Evidently he was not overly fond of the "Caro Nome" from ''Theater/{{Rigoletto}}'', or at least pretended not to be when he performed it with Marilyn Mulvey.
--->'''Victor''': (Upon being told) Oh God...! (He stumbles around on the stage for several seconds to regain himelf) All right, for those of you who are staying...Miss Mulvey will now play the Cockamamie Aria from the opera Rigor Mortis, by... by... by all means. Who wrote that?\\
'''Marilyn''': Giuseppe Verde.\\
'''Victor''': Why? (Marilyn glares at him) Er, Why ''yes'', yes he did. Giuseppe Verde. Joe Green to you! Hey, it's your language, I'm just trying to use it!
* ThrowItIn: During one performance (a concert in honour of his 80th birthday), violinist and friend Anton Kontra asked Borge to perform a piece (Monti's Czardas) together on the spot. Borge was familiar with the the piece but had ''never played it''. He ended up improvising his part and his friend went along with it, ending up [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvUbrbFdJ8g with this]].
* TooFastToStop: Invoked when Victor slides from one end of the piano to the other. This always ends with him falling onto the floor.
* ViewersAreGeniuses The more you know about music, the funnier he is.
* WhoNeedsTheirWholeBody: Victor's physical description of Mozart.
--> "As you know, Mozart was only from here (bottom of the ribcage) up. Mozart was what we call a bust."