Words matter. These are the best Tom Lehrer Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
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.
Laughter is involuntary. If it’s funny you laugh.
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.
I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!
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.
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.
You can’t be satirical and not be offensive to somebody.
Political satire became obsolete when they awarded Henry Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize.
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.
It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.
In my youth there were words you couldn’t say in front of a girl; now you can’t say ‘girl.’
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.
Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.
Irreverence is easy – what’s hard is wit.
I wasn’t really a performer by temperament.
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’re in a public profession like I was, and you stop doing it like I did, people think you’re either crazy or dead.
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
Counting in octal is just like counting in decimal, if you don’t use your thumbs.
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.
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.
When you get to fifty-two food becomes more important than sex.
I went from adolescence to senility, trying to bypass maturity.
I loved high school, but I wouldn’t want to do it again.
An actress must never lose her ego – without it she has no talent.