Tom Lehrer

(Thomas Andrew Lehrer)

Quote Topics Cited
If anyone objects to any statement I make, I am quite prepared not only to retract it, but also to deny under oath that I ever made it. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has "The Truth". Miscellaneous
Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks, And the rich folks hate the poor folks. All of my folks hate all of your folks, It's American as apple pie. Human Nature
Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;War & Peace
An actress must never lose her ego - without it she has no talent.
Apart from that Mrs Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?
Bad weather always looks worse through a window.
Be prepared, and be careful not to do your good deeds when there's no one watching you.
Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal, if you don't use your .
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.
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 didn't feel the need for anonymous affection, for people in the dark applauding. To me, it would be like writing a novel and then getting up every night and reading your novel.
I didn't feel the need for anonymous affection, for people in the dark applauding. To me, it would be like writing a novel and then getting up every night and reading your novel. Everything I did is on the record and, if you want to hear it, just listen to the record.
I feel that if a person has problems communicating the very least he can do is to shut up.
I figure I wrote 37 songs in 20 years, and that's not exactly a full-time job. It wasn't that I was writing and writing and writing and quit. Every now and then I wrote something, and every now and then I didn't. The second just outnumbered the first.
I have always found it interesting... that there are people who regard copyright infringement as a form of flattery.
I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that! Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I like Jon Stewart. He's not as obnoxious as Dennis Miller, whom I really can't stand.
I loved high school, but I wouldn't want to do it again.
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.
I thought about majoring in Math, Chemistry and English, but Math had the fewest requirements, so I went with it. I knew I wanted to teach, and Math was my field, so I studied Math.
I was immersed in popular songs of the time, of the '30s and '40s. I was writing songs, making fun of the attitudes of those songs, in the musical style of the songs themselves; love songs, folk songs, marches, football. Time ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I wasn't really a performer by temperament.
I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
If a person feels he can't communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it.
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.
I'm not interested in promoting myself or revealing to total strangers anything about me. That's not my job.
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.
In my youth there were words you couldn't say in front of a girl; now you can't say 'girl.'
Irreverence is easy - what's hard is wit.
It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.
It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.
Laughter is involuntary. If it's funny you laugh. Humor
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. Life
Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Life
My last public performance for money was in 1967. For free, it was 1972, with the exception of two little one-shot, one-song things. But that's just for friends, out of friendship for the people involved, and also because it was fun. Friendship ;Money, Coins & Minting
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.
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. Money, Coins & Minting
Political satire became obsolete when they awarded Henry Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize. War & Peace
San Francisco is a city of twenty-something millionaire white kids named Doug.
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 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 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.
There's something mathematically satisfying about music: notes fit together and harmony and all that. And mathematics has to do with abstractions and making connections. Music, Chants & Rapps
Think as you work, for in the final analysis, your worth to your company comes not only in solving problems, but also in anticipating them. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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 you get to fifty-two food becomes more important than sex. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
When you're in a public profession like I was, and you stop doing it like I did, people think you're either crazy or dead.
You can't be satirical and not be offensive to somebody.