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50 Noteworthy Quotes By Tom Lehrer

Famous As: American musician
Born On: April 9, 1928
Born In: New York, Manhattan
Age: 95 Years

Thomas Andrew Lehrer or ‘Tom’ Lehrer is an American satirist, singer, songwriter and mathematician. He is renowned for his terse and vigorously expressive comical tracks he recorded during the 50s and 60s. He was also known for his great piano skills. One of the greatest compositions from Lehrer has to be ‘The Elements’ where he slots the name of chemical elements to the tune of Major-General's song from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. His works largely dealt with parodies of famous tracks. His was also highlighted political and social issues prevalent in the country while inculcating dark humor into his subjects. Despite the criticism and controversies he attracted due to the references made on his subjects, it did not diminish the popularity of these tracks. After his retirement from public performance, he was largely dedicated towards teaching mathematics and music theatre at University of California, Santa Cruz. Here some of the famous quotes from Tom Lehrer.

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.

Tom Lehrer
It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.

It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.

Tom Lehrer
Life is like a sewer - you get out of it what you put into it.

Life is like a sewer - you get out of it what you put into it.

Tom Lehrer
I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!

I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!

Tom Lehrer
If after hearing my songs just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or perhaps to strike a loved one it will all have been worth the while.

If after hearing my songs just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or perhaps to strike a loved one it will all have been worth the while.

Tom Lehrer
On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.

On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.

Tom Lehrer
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.

Tom Lehrer
Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tom Lehrer
Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

Tom Lehrer
If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it.

If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it.

Tom Lehrer
I always prided myself on at least trying to be literate and use the right words, and if the audience didn't get it, then they could go home and look it up.

I always prided myself on at least trying to be literate and use the right words, and if the audience didn't get it, then they could go home and look it up.

Tom Lehrer
The Army has carried the American ... ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability.

The Army has carried the American ... ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability.

Tom Lehrer
If the hoods don't get you, the monoxide will.

If the hoods don't get you, the monoxide will.

Tom Lehrer
The people who were in college in the '50s were my first real audience, and their kids, the people who found my records in the cabinet during their 'Mad 'magazine years picked me up also.

The people who were in college in the '50s were my first real audience, and their kids, the people who found my records in the cabinet during their 'Mad 'magazine years picked me up also.

Tom Lehrer
I like Jon Stewart. He's not as obnoxious as Dennis Miller, whom I really can't stand.

I like Jon Stewart. He's not as obnoxious as Dennis Miller, whom I really can't stand.

Tom Lehrer
When I was in college, there were certain words you couldn't say in front of a girl. Now you can say them, but you can't say 'girl.'

When I was in college, there were certain words you couldn't say in front of a girl. Now you can say them, but you can't say 'girl.'

Tom Lehrer
I loved high school, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

I loved high school, but I wouldn't want to do it again.

Tom Lehrer
I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them.

I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirise George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporise them.

Tom Lehrer
Irreverence is easy - what's hard is wit.

Irreverence is easy - what's hard is wit.

Tom Lehrer
The Army has carried the American ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability.

The Army has carried the American ideal to its logical conclusion. Not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on ability.

Tom Lehrer
I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.

I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.

Tom Lehrer
The real issues I don't think most people touch. The Clinton jokes are all about Monica Lewinsky and all that stuff and not about the important things, like the fact that he wouldn't ban landmines.

The real issues I don't think most people touch. The Clinton jokes are all about Monica Lewinsky and all that stuff and not about the important things, like the fact that he wouldn't ban landmines.

Tom Lehrer
An actress must never lose her ego - without it she has no talent.

An actress must never lose her ego - without it she has no talent.

Tom Lehrer
San Francisco is a city of twenty-something millionaire white kids named Doug.

San Francisco is a city of twenty-something millionaire white kids named Doug.

Tom Lehrer
Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Tom Lehrer
If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or, perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.

If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend or, perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.

Tom Lehrer
Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you.

Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you.

Tom Lehrer

One of the things I'm proudest of is, on my record 'That Was the Year that Was' in 1965, I made a joke about spending $20 billion sending some clown to the moon. I was against the manned space program then, and I'm even more against it now, that whole waste of money.

Tom Lehrer

Eddie Izzard is wonderful, I think, but I've only seen that one HBO special he did. He's one of the few people who talk about stuff other than girlfriends and relationships and flatulence and genitalia. There are very few of them who actually talk about real stuff.

Tom Lehrer

I stopped performing because I don't have the temperament of a performer. You have to want to do the same thing over and over again. Once I got it right, I didn't want to do it again. I always use the analogy of a novelist who has to read his novel in public night after night. I just didn't want to do it.

Tom Lehrer