A Man and His Piano: The Humour of Victor Borge

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.- Victor Borge

Yesterday, my 16-year-old called me up to his room, wanting to show me a YouTube video.  Expecting to see a popular YouTuber or the latest Epic Rap Battle, I was surprised when it was a video of Victor Borge.  He then told me that he had just finished watching a documentary on the famous musician and comedian.  He thought that Victor was brilliant.  This admiration comes from a shared love of music.  My son played guitar for years and has learned an appreciation of classical music as a violinist in his high school orchestra.  Add the humour of Victor’s performances and it was no surprise that he got hooked.

The Clown Prince of Denmark was born on January 3, 1909 and passed away December 23, 2000.  A magician with the piano and a wit to match, I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert at Kitchener’s Centre in the Square many years ago.  It was my very first date  with my new boyfriend (now husband).  At the time, I had no idea who Victor was.  Saying that I laughed until I cried would be an understatement. smilelaugh

So what made Victor so wonderfully entertaining?

First of all, his skill as a pianist.  Humour aside, the man was to true expert and could make any piece seem effortless.

He could laugh at himself.  He never tried to be perfect, even when he was.

He made you fall in love with classical music.  Even if you didn’t know your Vivaldi from your Mozart, you could listen to him play for hours and never be bored.  He gave classical music to the masses and we loved him for  it.

Impeccable timing.  Wondering what I mean by that?  Check out some of the videos below to see what I mean.

Victor Borge was one of the greatest musicians and comedians to ever grace the stage.  The first video is from the 22nd Kennedy Center Honors in 1999.




This video has been my son’s favourite so far.  A lesson about Mozart.


For my fellow writers, may I present a lesson in PHONETIC PUNCTUATION.


Here, a young man finds himself at Victor’s mercy when he becomes a page-turner. (sorry that the picture quality isn’t great)


Finally, one of his many performances with opera singer Marilyn Mulvey, who had performed for Victor for years.  (To turn off the subtitles, click the Settings button and turn off Annotations).


You can find more videos of Victor Borge on YouTube.

Text © Written In Geek blog (2017) All rights reserved
Pictures © Written In Geek blog, used with subject’s permission or under public domain (2017)- feature image courtesy of Quote Fancy

Videos courtesy of YouTube.

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