Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Victor Borge

Today we honor Victor Borge (1909-2000) for using his intellectual property to produce wealth. Specifically, we honor Borge for his piano-playing comedic talent. I especially love his telling nickname: The Clown Prince of Denmark.

Born in Copenhagen, Borge started playing the piano at age 3! As a young man, he turned from simply playing piano concerts to doing his now-famous piano-comedy routines. According the BBC,

A typical performance would start, not with the opening bars of a classical composition, but with a minute inspection of the piano from all angles Pages of sheet music would get mixed up, hair and clothing would be checked and then the pianist would turn on the audience and scold imaginary latecomers.

Beyond Borge's performance, he led an extraordinary life. After building a reputation for poking fun at Nazi's, Borge escaped to America in 1940... but wait it gets better. Disguised as a sailor, he returned to Demark to see his dying mother! Soon after coming to the US, he was hired by Bing Crosby to be a member of Kraft Music Hall.

I could not find a source describing how much cash Borge created with his performances, but after typing his name into Amazon, I found about 25 items with his name still readily available. I cannot image the true wealth he created.

For the joy he brought to those watching his performance, to the goods produced with his image and the inspiration he imparted to millions of people, we honor Victor Borge for using his private property to create wealth.

Victor Borge on Wikipedia
BBC New Article
Victor Borge Quotes
Victor Borge Goods on Amazon

Thanks Martin for the idea!
Here is a short clip of many on

1 comment:

Martin Lindeskog said...

Thanks Ann! I have had the pleasure to watch Victor Borge's performances several times here in Gothenburg, Sweden.

A quote from The Telegraph: "For two shows in America in 1956 - he limited himself to two a year - he was paid £100,000."