Trivia: Tom Lehrer

  • Creator Backlash: One of the reasons he retired was that he grew to despise touring to perform his songs.
  • Creator Breakdown: The reason he stopped doing political satire was apparently because the politicians became too corrupt. He abandoned his singing career before Richard Nixon was even President, and things haven't gotten better...
    Lehrer: I don't want to satirize George [W.] Bush and his puppeteers. I want to vaporize them.
    • That's part of the reason, but not the entire reason. There's also the fact that the political issues of later eras became much more complex, and it's hard to get good laughs out of a song that presents both sides of the issue. Here's a piece that has a lot more elaboration from Lehrer. That said, the devolution of politics certainly has not made Lehrer any more enthusiastic about the idea of writing music.
      • When an Australian magazine published an interview they conducted with Lehrer in 2003, the same interview in which he stated his desire to vaporize George W. Bush and his puppeteers, he later remarked,
        Lehrer: Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
    • According to the preface of one of his songbooks, "Well-wishers...are constantly suggesting hilarious subject matter, such as the Vietnam War, the gradual destruction of the environment, our recent presidents, etc. so that I have often felt like a resident of Pompeii who has been asked for some humorous comments on lava."
    • Some do, however, hold out hope, that if PBS makes another educational children's show a-la The Electric Company or Square One Television, Lehrer might agree to contribute a few televisual tutorial tunes for tots.
  • Reclusive Artist: Firmly retired to a life in academia, but has been willing enough to do the occasional interview over the years.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: He's been falsely proclaimed dead by so many news articles that he keeps a scrapbook of newspaper and magazine articles naming him "the late Tom Lehrer."

Mr. Lehrer provides the page quotes for:

(Note: This list may not be complete. As you can see, he's quite popular on this wiki).