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

Victor Borge 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 "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4qii8S3gw Phonetic Punctuation]]," his battle with a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVIHyfvPceo soprano]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WvfoFTSk3c&feature=related 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 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rczpLa8wuhA turn familiar jingles]] [[http://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 in Denmark and kept a thick accent his entire life, he became an American citizen just before WorldWarII as his wife was American (he also once publically 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'."
* BrawnHilda: One routine of Victor's 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."
* 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.]]"
* {{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".
* 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 ''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.
* 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 ''TheElectricCompany'' to illustrate punctuation marks
** And of course, was the guest star of an episode of ''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.
* 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]].
* ViewersAreGeniuses The more you know about music, the funnier he is.