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(Buzzfeed)   He graduated Harvard at 18. As an officer in the National Security Agency, he is believed to have invented vodka Jell-O shots. He's also the farking funniest recording artist of the 20th Century. Ladies and gentlemen, Tom Lehrer   (buzzfeed.com) divider line 40
    More: Hero, Flight of the Conchords, Tom Lehrer, Reggie Watts, humans, The Lonely Islands, Jim Lehrer, master recording, Life in Pictures  
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4270 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 11 Apr 2014 at 7:35 AM (14 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-04-11 03:22:20 AM
Been a fan of Lehrer since I was young.  He's still mentioned in math textbooks even today, which gives you an idea of how good a mathematician he was.
 
2014-04-11 03:58:04 AM
19.
 
2014-04-11 05:07:57 AM
Well, this'll suck - it is a Buzzfeed article after all.

Hey, where's the list of nine things I didn't know about Tom Lehrer? Where's the nearly non-existent writing? Why am I reading an engaging, well-written piece with depth and a soul?

Good job, Buzzfeed. Now give me a list of eleven things other than an umbrella that can I can use to keep rain off of me and frighten seagulls.
 
2014-04-11 07:52:11 AM
I played this record over and over and over when I was a kid.
ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-04-11 08:00:45 AM

ciberido: Been a fan of Lehrer since I was young.  He's still mentioned in math textbooks even today, which gives you an idea of how good a mathematician he was.


You sound old....
Sorry... I got nothin, and don't know what your taking about....
Clicked expecting video link... Too lazy to read article this early...
 
2014-04-11 08:02:48 AM
TLDR;
 
2014-04-11 08:07:11 AM
One of my aunts worked with him at the NSA. Said he was a great guy.
 
2014-04-11 08:14:59 AM
Dancing the masochism tango in honour, old chap.
 
2014-04-11 08:15:13 AM

DeadPhelps: Well, this'll suck - it is a Buzzfeed article after all.

Hey, where's the list of nine things I didn't know about Tom Lehrer? Where's the nearly non-existent writing? Why am I reading an engaging, well-written piece with depth and a soul?

Good job, Buzzfeed. Now give me a list of eleven things other than an umbrella that can I can use to keep rain off of me and frighten seagulls.


Yes, that was an excellent article. I love Lehrer's songs. I had a chemistry professor that synced up his song about the elements with a giant periodic table where the elements would light up when mentioned in the song. And I love the line about his wife that makes coffee that tastes like sham....pooo..... but she's my baby... and I luv 'er.

It is very odd that you find someone who is so indifferent about his legacy. Inspiring, in a way, scary in another.
 
2014-04-11 08:16:49 AM
Oh, and his "LY" song on The Electric Company still bounces around my head. I think it was about adverbs.
 
2014-04-11 08:46:49 AM
Tom Lehrer is still alive?!
 
2014-04-11 08:52:52 AM
In the late 60s I was given a few bucks to check on the house of a neighbor who was on sabbatical. Every day I'd walk over and check to be sure nothing was amiss, no pipes broken, etc. I discovered they had an excellent stereo so started bringing over albums to play. Invited a few friends to hang out. While pawing through the albums in the house, I discovered Tom Lehrer's "That Was The Year That Was" and we were hooked. We almost wore it out.

To this day, whenever I see some manufactured "diversity" event on TV or here on campus, I catch myself singing:

"It's fun to eulogize
the people you despise."

/lawn, off
 
2014-04-11 09:05:40 AM
I remember first finding Tom Lehrer by my middle school crush. He would play Lehrer on the piano and I would sing along.

He's a major influence on my sense of humor and musical taste. I have all of his music and read anything that comes up about him. I share the same birthday as him and Hugh Hefner, and I find Tom to be a far cooler date twin. Every few weeks I go online and make sure he's still alive. Anytime I see his name pop up, I have an initial moment of dread that his time finally came.
 
2014-04-11 09:08:13 AM
I also wore out TWTYTW.   Definitely having 1960's flashbacks!

/You can't take three from two,
//Two is less than three,
///So you look at the four in the tens place.
 
2014-04-11 09:11:12 AM
The Macneil Lerner report is very good.
 
2014-04-11 09:12:38 AM
Good article. My heart is in my hand... yehch.
 
2014-04-11 09:17:17 AM

OldManDownDRoad: In the late 60s I was given a few bucks to check on the house of a neighbor who was on sabbatical. Every day I'd walk over and check to be sure nothing was amiss, no pipes broken, etc. I discovered they had an excellent stereo so started bringing over albums to play. Invited a few friends to hang out. While pawing through the albums in the house, I discovered Tom Lehrer's "That Was The Year That Was" and we were hooked. We almost wore it out.

To this day, whenever I see some manufactured "diversity" event on TV or here on campus, I catch myself singing:

"It's fun to eulogize
the people you despise."

/lawn, off


cool story grandpa... I learned about Tom Lehrer from fark.
 
2014-04-11 10:00:25 AM
My 8 year old knows most of.the words to new math. And asks me to play it frequently. Although some of humor, hell most of it, is very dated, he's still funny as hell.

Csb time. Recently jeopardy had a question, answer really, he was known for his composition "das lied Van der erde ". And I knew the answer was Mahler. From the song "Alma". Though you didn't even use ponds you got Gustav and Walter and Franz.

End csb.
 
2014-04-11 10:26:02 AM
FTFA:  His entire body of work topped out at 37 songs

TRY NOT TO MAKE ANY SONGS ON THE WAY THROUGH THE PARKING LOT!!
 
2014-04-11 10:26:40 AM
On one of our first outings, I discovered that this girl I liked (alone among all my friends) also knew all the words to "I Hold Your Hand In Mine".  Which we sang walking across campus.

We've been married 17 years now.
 
2014-04-11 10:50:35 AM
He helped out on a German play my wife was in back in school at UCSC.

The German professor announced that a Prof. Emeritus Leher would be helping out, and he helped with the music and stage direction, and as it was Cabaret he suggested he bring some old Nazi paraphernalia he had collected over the years to strengthen the scene when the Nazis shut them down, but the administration shiat itself the second it heard the word "Swastika" so they shot that idea down quick.

My wife had no idea who he was, but she mentioned a former professor Leher was helping them out, and I nearly shiat myself with excitement, but I never managed to get to the practice to meet him.

Then a couple weeks after the production we were in a supermarket in Aptos, (south of Santa Cruz) and this old guy walks up to my wife and says, "Hello Jennifer, how are you" and then introduces himself to me as Tom. Man, that was a great day as he was one of my idols growing up.
 
2014-04-11 10:51:04 AM
You'll have to excuse me.  I have some pigeons to poison.
 
2014-04-11 11:22:40 AM
"Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun

// anyone want to spend Hannukah in Santa Monica this year (lighting candles in our sandals by the bay)?
// or, more timelier, Shavuos in East St Louis?
 
2014-04-11 11:27:39 AM
And we'll say a Te Deum.
When we first see 'em
And the dress code will be
Come as you are.
 
2014-04-11 11:47:45 AM
My dad had some of his albums, played them over and over. Now have the MP3s.

Great lyrics, the man is vastly underrated, Should be much much more well known
 
2014-04-11 11:48:58 AM
H is for my alma mater Harvard,
C is Central, next stop on the line,
K is for the cozy Kendall station, and
C is Charles that overlooks the brine...a-
P is Park St...Pahk Street, busy Boston center, and
W is Washington you see...
Put them all together, they spell...
*HCCKKCC... PW!*... (sounds like somebody spitting)
Which is just about what Boston means to me!


Even his Electric Company songs are great listens.
 
2014-04-11 11:51:43 AM
From the liner notes of "Songs and More Songs" :

"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."
 
2014-04-11 12:51:44 PM
That is possibly the first worthwhile Buzzfeed link I have ever clicked on.

When did I fall through some sort of dimensional vortex?  And does non-euclidian geometry work in this one?
 
2014-04-11 01:05:37 PM
www.current.org
 
2014-04-11 02:06:50 PM

jaytkay: I played this record over and over and over when I was a kid.
[ecx.images-amazon.com image 301x300]


Me too- and sang it and sang it.

My parents had me tested.
 
2014-04-11 02:31:40 PM
I still sing MLF Lullaby to my daughters to get them to sleep.
 
2014-04-11 02:32:47 PM

Teknowaffle: He helped out on a German play my wife was in back in school at UCSC.

The German professor announced that a Prof. Emeritus Leher would be helping out, and he helped with the music and stage direction, and as it was Cabaret he suggested he bring some old Nazi paraphernalia he had collected over the years to strengthen the scene when the Nazis shut them down, but the administration shiat itself the second it heard the word "Swastika" so they shot that idea down quick.

My wife had no idea who he was, but she mentioned a former professor Leher was helping them out, and I nearly shiat myself with excitement, but I never managed to get to the practice to meet him.

Then a couple weeks after the production we were in a supermarket in Aptos, (south of Santa Cruz) and this old guy walks up to my wife and says, "Hello Jennifer, how are you" and then introduces himself to me as Tom. Man, that was a great day as he was one of my idols growing up.


Genuinely CSB.... Go, Fighting Banana Slugs!

/Not really, I was a UCSB grad.
 
2014-04-11 02:32:57 PM
Holy Cow!  Not only is he still alive, you mean to tell me he lives around the corner?
 
KIA
2014-04-11 04:15:14 PM
I sincerely wish I had half the talent and wit that Mr. Lehrer has.

Oh, wait. I almost do.

Seriously, the man is a genius in every sense of the word. He brightened up my childhood immeasurably and still contributes to my good cheer as an adult. If he had any new songs, I would be in line on day 1 to get them.
 
KIA
2014-04-11 04:22:53 PM
Oh, and also: totally understand what he means when he suggested many things had gone well beyond the stage of "funny" and into a much darker place. It is the same thing Cameron said about why he didn't do a sequel to True Lies: hard to have fun with a topic of utmost gravity.

Not that it stopped him in the past, of course. Perhaps it is a function of maturity and his efforts to prolong adolescence have at last been suspended.
 
KIA
2014-04-11 04:27:37 PM
Dang. Now I have a mental image of Mr. Lehrer as Phineas J. Frog, the reclusive Loony Tunes character with a beautiful voice that he never used in public.

Ah, a misspent youth full of Loony Tunes and Tom Lehrer. Bliss.
 
2014-04-11 08:20:39 PM
Loved TL since I was a kid, never outgrew him.
 
2014-04-11 09:16:33 PM

DrunkWithImpotence: That is possibly the first worthwhile Buzzfeed link I have ever clicked on.

When did I fall through some sort of dimensional vortex?  And does non-euclidian geometry work in this one?


It was really a good article. I'm a little stunned, like I just whacked my head on a low doorway.
 
2014-04-12 03:58:46 AM
Buzzfeed.  Put out a read-worthy.  article.  Waiting to feel my superpowers kick in.  We're in that parallel universe where I got hit with mutagen in my sleep right?
 
2014-04-12 04:22:23 PM
Jr High, listening to Dr Demento is how I first this guy.  What I think hooked me, more than the lyrics themselves, was his voice.  There was something to it, he was clearly enjoying himself but at the same time it didn't sound like he was trying to be funny.  Also, he spoke/sang with authority, he was the Chuck D of musical satire.
 
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