Victor Borge (pronounced /ˈbɔrɡə/ BOR-gə; January 3, 1909 – December 23, 2000), born Børge Rosenbaum, was a Danish comedian, conductor and pianist, affectionately known as The Clown Prince of Denmark, The Unmelancholy Dane, and The Great Dane.
Borge was born Børge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark, into a Jewish family. His parents, Bernhard and Frederikke Rosenbaum, were both musicians—his father a violist in the Royal Danish Orchestra and his mother a pianist. Like his mother, 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 concert-hall Odd Fellow Palæet (The Odd Fellow's Lodge building). 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.