A Performing Legend: Victor Borge

Have you ever been struck with a memory that had been lost for many years in your psyche? When I was a child, I watched many clips and shows of the great Danish comedian Victor Borge. He had escaped my memory for many years until tonight. He just came to my head and I looked him up on YouTube to see what he was up to. Turns out, her lived a good life and died in the year 2000.

Watching the clips of his comedic piano act was a pleasant escape. I am dumbfounded that he can do an entire evening of entertainment with nothing but himself, a mic, an assistant or two, and a grand piano – and he barely plays the piano! When he does, we see how extremely talented of a pianist he is. But his knack for comedy and working the audience is just as good. I’ve never seen anyone else mesh those two skills like Victor Borge did. For instance, every time he nearly plays the piano, he gets easily distracted by something and then he runs down a rabbit trail of humor with the audience. No wonder his nickname was “The Clown Prince of Denmark.”

As a juggler, my hope is that I can be excellent in my juggling skills, but I realize that the audience is not really interested primarily in juggling skills alone. They want to have an enjoyable evening, which means interacting with them in memorable and comedic ways. Furthermore, I often have a message of faith or inspiration to share with them, and that is far more important than the juggling. Like Victor Borge was always drawn from his piano and towards his audience, so I want to be a good juggler who is drawn from his juggling rings and brings home a solid message of hope and love.

Look up “Victor Borge” on YouTube or watch this clip here:

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Dr. Jesse Joyner travels nationwide as a speaker and entertainer. His primary role is that of a performing juggler spreading joy and the love of learning to family and kids events. H earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity International University (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids - the perfect number for juggling children.