Well-loved for his comedic renderings of classical mainstays, "The Clown Prince of Denmark" Victor Borge (born Borge Rosenbaum) launched his remarkable career with a debut in Copenhagen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music at the spry age of eight. Quickly gaining momentum as a gifted musician, though one who possessed a remarkable sense of humor, it didn't take Borge long to adopt the persona that would define his career.
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark, Borge emigrated to the United States in 1940 to escape the nazi invasion. Having already established his gift for teasing audiences with his unique wit and goofy humor, the only barrier between Borge and success in the U.S. was language, a barrier soon and successfully overcome as he translated his performances and began to appear on many popular radio shows of the day. Employing tactics that would normally be scoffed at among connoisseurs of the classical variety, Borge broke the barriers of comedy and music through his trademark slapstick, taking a no-holds-barred approach at injecting the kind of pompous-puncturing, giggle-inducing humor that reminded audiences that music, as well as life, must be laughed at every once in a while to be appreciated. Breaking the Broadway record for one-man shows with an exhausting 849 performances at Gotham's Golden Theater in the 1950s, Borge was a tireless performer who continued to entertain well into his own golden years. Staying in the collective consciousness of audiences through touring and the promotion of Funniest Moments videos containing his most beloved routines, Borge entertained generations of audiences worldwide, finding new fans in those who had not been around to witness his early routines and experience his remarkable comic and musical abilities. Though it was uncommon for Borge to appear in films, he did make an appearance as himself in Martin Scorsese's King of Comedy (1983). Aside from his well-known classical stylings, Borge also found success as an orchestra conductor. With his energy and enthusiasm for entertaining never having faded, Borge died in his sleep as the result of heart failure after a brief trip to the city of his birth. He was 91.