Comedian and musician Rainer Hersch is appearing at London’s beautiful Cadogan Hall on Friday 12 October with a brand new version of his comedy hit Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge. You don’t have to know anything about Borge to enjoy this ‘tear-streamingly funny’ tribute. But, if you have heard the name, how much do you really know about one of the worlds greatest comedy entertainers…?
1. ‘Borge’ was originally his Christian name – he was born Børge Rosenbaum on January 3rd 1909.
2. He was on the local Nazi hit list when they invaded Denmark in April 1940. He escaped on the American Legion – the last passenger ship to leave Scandinavia during the war.
3. He arrived in America with only minimal English and taught himself the language by watching movies. For 15 cents he could watch the film three times and, by the third showing, he would try to repeat every word.
4. In 1941, days after failing to get a job pumping gas because his English wasn’t good enough, he promptly secured himself a slot on the Bing Crosby radio show performing to 30 million Americans every week.
5. He performed his famous Phonetic Punctuation routine for 60 years.
6. …but ‘Phonetic Punctuation’ wasn’t his. The original idea was penned by a Norwegian scriptwriter who eventually took Borge to court over its copyright – and won.
7. He was the highest paid entertainer in the world in 1960
8. In the sixties, he owned a poultry business that bred Rock Cornish chickens in Connecticut.
9. He still holds the world record for the longest running one-man show on Broadway – 849 performances.
10. He never made it successfully into the movies. His most notable appearances were ‘Higher and Higher’ (1944) a Sinatra film in which he plays an Englishman and a cameo in ‘The King of Comedy’ (1983) with Robert De Niro which flopped at the box office but has since become a classic.
Rainer Hersch teams up with internationally acclaimed pianist Danny Driver and Royal Opera House soloist Laura Ruhí Vidal to re-ignite the magic of Victor Borge’s classic routines.
‘Broadway calibre show’ – Montreal Gazette
‘Tearstreamingly funny tribute’ – The Scotsman
Friday 12 October 7.40pm
Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ