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Sunday, December 10, 2017 

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(Who was Victor Borge?)


Børge Rosenbaum (3 January 1909 – 23 December 2000), known professionally as Victor Borge (/ˈbɔːrɡə/ BOR-gə), was a Danish and American comedian, conductor, and pianist who achieved great popularity in radio and television in the United States and Europe. His blend of music and comedy earned him the nicknames "The Clown Prince of Denmark," "The Unmelancholy Dane," and "The Great Dane."

Rosenbaum was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, into a Jewish family. His parents, Bernhard and Frederikke (Lichtinger) Rosenbaum, were both musicians: his father a violist in the Royal Danish Orchestra, and his mother a pianist. Borge began piano lessons at the age of two, and it was soon apparent that he was a prodigy. He gave his first piano recital when he was eight years old, and in 1918 was awarded a full scholarship at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, studying under Olivo Krause. Later on, he was taught by Victor Schiøler, Liszt's student Frederic Lamond, and Busoni's pupil Egon Petri.

Borge played his first major concert in 1926 at the Danish Odd Fellow Palæet (The Odd Fellow's Lodge building) concert hall. After a few years as a classical concert pianist, he started his now famous "stand-up" act, with the signature blend of piano music and jokes. He married American Elsie Chilton in 1933, the same year he debuted with his revue acts.Borge started touring extensively in Europe, where he began telling anti-Nazi jokes.

When the German armed forces occupied Denmark on April 9, 1940, during World War II, Borge was playing a concert in Sweden and managed to escape to Finland. He traveled to America on the United States Army transport American Legion, the last neutral ship to make it out of Petsamo, Finland, and arrived 28 August 1940, with only $20 (about $342 today), with $3 going to the customs fee. Disguised as a sailor, Borge returned to Denmark once during the occupation to visit his dying mother

One of Borge's other famous routines was "Phonetic Punctuation," in which he read a passage from a book and added exaggerated sound effects to stand for all of the punctuation marks, such as periods, commas, and exclamation marks. Another is his "Inflationary Language," in which he added one to every number or homophone of a number in the words he spoke. For example: "once upon a time" becomes "twice upon a time," "wonderful" becomes "twoderful," "forehead" becomes "fivehead," "anyone for tennis" becomes "anytwo five elevennis," "I ate a tenderloin with my fork and so on and so forth" becomes "'I nine an elevenderloin with my five'k' and so on and so fifth."  There is an hour and a half routine here (https://youtu.be/f00VEflQ5VQ) which you really need to hear.  What a genius.  The "Phonetic Punctuation" is the last portion of the recording (or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf_TDuhk3No).  Guarenteed, you'll have a smile on your face.



December 10, 2017

"Mah Nà Mah Nà" is a popular song written by Piero Umiliani. It originally appeared in the Italian film Sweden: Heaven and Hell (Svezia, inferno e paradiso). It was a minor radio hit in the U.S. and in Britain, but became better known internationally for its use by The Muppets and on The Benny Hill Show.


 

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