Since childhood when I first enjoyed one of his amazing, accessible performances on PBS, I have been an avid fan of Victor Borge. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, Borge is a Danish-American conductor and pianist, and one of the funniest humans to ever roam the earth. All that talent in one marvelous person!
Born in 1909 in Copenhagen to an Ashkenazi Jewish family, Borge was raised by classical pianist parents who started him with piano lessons at the tender age of two. Widely acknowledged as a prodigy, at the age of nine, the young pianist was awarded a full scholarship at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. By his teen years, Borge had added in his now-famous standup act which brilliantly blends classical music and humor. His early jokes included quite a bit of anti-Nazi material, so when the German army occupied Denmark in 1940, he moved to Finland, then America. A couple of years later, Borge had been named the Best New Radio Performer of the Year in 1942, and his comedy made people laugh until his death in 2000.
True story: when I first discovered YouTube, my VERY FIRST SEARCH was Victor Borge. (My second was Gilda Radner.) I still enjoy every one of the performances I’ve found there.
You can learn more about this brilliant funnyman on the Britannica website.