Victor Borge: Phonetic Punctuation (1955)

 |   |  <1 min read

Victor Borge: Phonetic Punctuation (1955)

Denmark-born pianist Victor Borge was a child prodigy who could have had a distinguished career playing concert halls. Fortunately for us he chose another direction.

Born to Jewish parents in 1909, he studied and played the classics, but in his late teens began adding stand-up comedy to his repertoire. He married an American (Elsie Chilton) in 1933 and when the Nazis invaded Denmark they fled from Sweden where he was performing (and including anti-Nazi jokes) to eventuallly arrive in the States.

He couldn't speak any English on arrival (he was literally penniless also) but learned by watching movies and -- as Victor Borge, he'd been born Borge Rosenbaum -- started performing comedy and classics, and caught the attention of Bing Crosby and others. He made the move to television, did long-running theatre performances, made many albums and performed right up until his death at 91 in 2000.

Among his many famous pieces is Phonetic Punctuation which, even now, is guaranteeed to have the kids rolling with laughter and is one of those routines which, once you have heard it, remains embedded.

If you haven't heard it in a while, here it is for your enjoyment. It comes from the best-selling album Caught in the Act.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting back story see From the Vaults. 

Share It

Your Comments

Fred - Aug 2, 2010

Yep, "Phonetic Punctuation" is great comedy. I reckon, however, that Borge's "Inflationary Language" is easily its equal and has stood the test of time even better.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Tigers: Red Dress (1980)

The Tigers: Red Dress (1980)

As the Warratahs embark on a 25th anniversary tour, it is timely to look back at this New Zealand band which brought country music into fashionable rock circles, and connected with that mysterious... > Read more

Jim Carroll: People Who Died (1980)

Jim Carroll: People Who Died (1980)

When Jim Carroll died in September 2009 at age 60, it went largely unnoticed by the rock culture which had once embraced him, and had spoken about this New York poet-turned-singer in the same... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

Everyone is allowed their guilty secrets when it comes to bad movies: I have an unnatural affection for Zardoz (Sean Connery in the future somewhere) and The Long Ships (in which Sidney Poitier... > Read more

Arizona, USA: Into the valley . . .

Arizona, USA: Into the valley . . .

Kayenta is little more than a wide spot on the highway through north east Arizona. There’s not much worth reporting: a chainstore outlet, a small and somewhat pitiful town which shimmers... > Read more