Victor Borge Retrospective at the Palace

  • by Gloria Vanderbrick, Bricklyn Eagle Arts & Entertainment correspondent
  • July 25, 2021

Summary of Article ➤ Bricklyn’s Palace Theatre offers a retrospective of some of the most memorable performances of Danish-American pianist and humorist Victor Borge.

Bricklyn’s Palace Theatre, venue for the Victor Borge retrospective.

There’s a definite air of excitement in Bricklyn — especially among the senior crowd — over the upcoming Victor Borge retrospective at the Palace Theatre, co-sponsored by the Danish Heritage Society & Bricklyn City Arts.

Some Bricklynites recall with pleasure when, as youngsters back in the 1950s and ’60s, they first had the chance to see Danish-American star Victor Borge on television. Many more recall hearing their parents tell of this legendary musician, humorist, and all-around talent.


The ability to connect the Bricklyn Palace Theatre to YouTube so that Bricklynites of all ages can enjoy some of Borge’s most memorable performances is thanks to the cooperation of the Bricklyn and Burlington consular offices. As readers know, network connections between Bricklyn and Outland🌀 services (such as YouTube) are normally restricted to Kyndige🌀. An exception was made for screening the Borge performances.

About Victor Borge

Victor Borge in concert, August 25, 1957. Photo by Joe Clark, Detroit. Wikimedia Commons.

Just a bit of background about Borge before viewing one of the archival broadcasts. Born Børge Rosenbaum in 1909 to parents who were both talented musicians, Victor was similarly endowed. He gave his first piano recital at the age of just eight.

As Borge got older, a good-natured sense of humor became an integral part of his performances. As writer Norman Berdichevsky observes, “Victor Borge launched a career that stemmed from his irrepressible humor.”📍

📍From Norman Berdichevsky, An Introduction to Danish Culture (2011). Berdichevsky, who now teaches Hebrew at the University of Central Florida, spent seven years in Denmark teaching geography in Aarhus.

Borge was proud of his family’s background as Danish Jews. With the beginning of the Nazi onslaught, Jews in Denmark — as in all of Europe — were at extreme peril. Yet, as Berdichevsky recounts: “One of [Borge’s] pre-War comedy routines … lampooned the Nazis by asking what the difference is between a dog and a Nazi. ‘A Nazi lifts its arm.’ Not surprisingly, Borge’s name was among those who were to be immediately arrested following the German army’s invasion of Denmark … “

Fortunately, Borge — who was in Sweden giving a concert as the Nazis were invading Denmark — quickly made his way to Finland where he secured passage on the last neutral ship leaving Northern Europe for America as the Nazi occupation of Denmark began.

Once in America, Borge quickly showed his talent, becoming a part of Bing Crosby’s Kraft Music Hall radio show, and then appearing in films, on stage, and on television. While Borge became an American citizen in 1948, he continued to be called “The Clown Prince of Denmark” and “The Unmelancholy Dane.”

Borge, who died in 2000, remained proud of his Danish roots throughout his life. This is part of his continuing appeal to Bricklynites, most of whom share the family story of being Danish immigrants to America. He also remains an honored figure in his native Denmark. ✥

But now, let’s take a few minutes to watch some vintage Victor Borge:

Coming next at the Palace, watch Victor Borge do his highly entertaining “Phonetic Punctuation” on the Ed Sullivan Show.

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