Borge for the (not so) Serious Collector
Max A. Lebow | Philadelphia, PA USA | 03/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lost Episodes of Victor Borge: Vol. 1
The original TV special was produced in a studio before a live audience. The orchestra was visibly live too.
Nobody has had more fun making fun of classical music and opera more than Victor Borge. Audiences of all ages have been surprised and pleased to follow the exploits of this gifted concert pianist gone hysterically bad.
To start the ball rolling, though, Borge takes a well deserved poke at the already popular Lawrence Welk. Borge's orchestra plays some nice champagne music. Then a stagehand with wild hair on the sides, and bald on top, with an unruly mustache appears and begins blowing bubbles. The atmosphere of bubbles and music establishes itself. During a long orchestral interlude, Borge conducts, half-heartedly with one hand, drumming the fingers of his other hand on the piano's music stand in a show of boredom. Then he begins eating a snack, still conducting with one hand. Suddenly, all business, Borge rises to his full height, turns his back on the orchestra and begins feverishly conducting the bubble blower!
No one had done anything as funny with an orchestra in the entire decade since the Marx Bothers tried to have multiple, simultaneous conductors in Night at the Opera.
This Collector's Edition includes rare footage, recovered from aging kinescopes and many skits not seen for 40 years. However, the clown prince of the piano is still irrepressibly funny, and arch, and didactic, as ever. He trails off onto amusing tangents, and when necessary, tries to sit on the piano bench and misses it, landing, to his amazement, on the floor! You'll be on the floor with him, laughing.
No one has yet, or probably ever will, combine slapstick with virtuoso piano styling, as Borge did.
Even the Pontiac commercials are funny.
Spurred, no doubt, by the nervous energy of live television, and a cast of hundreds, Borge is on his best/worst behavior here, he mugs, he does pratfalls, and he plays magnificently, for a moment or two. Then he reduces the entire style of a Great Russian composer to a single, loud, dissonant chord.
He introduces a child prodigy who plays, at age 13, better than most pianists can ever play. However, before the kid performs, he endures some hectic, and hilarious, ribbing from Borge.
The writing, the adlibs, the performances throughout entertain so well, fill one with so much life, that one feels empty when the program ends.
This is a collector's item for the serious collector of the not-so-serious."
How could you lose humor this good?
J. Ausfahl | Peoria, Illinois United States | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Both a brilliant pianist and an exceptional comedian, Victor Borge is scintillatingly, if not outrageously, funny in several of his most famous skits. Well worth the cost, and worth the time to watch, if you like clean humor."
Victor Borge vol 1
Cindy | Alaska | 12/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I watched "The Best of Victor Borge" previously, so Victor Borge Vol. One was a little bit of a let down. He is a very funny man though, so I rated this as "ok". I would, however, recommend "The Best of Victor Borge" over this one."
Lost episodes of Victor Borge, Vol. 1
R. Childs | Los Angeles, CA | 01/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Entertaining and humorous. The person receiving the DVD enjoyed it. Like Mr. Borge, she is Danish and has an affinity for his musical skills and approach to humor."