Question - RE: Tom Lehrer

I have a question for the Python mavens...

Tom Lehrer is one of my favorite satirists of all time. His time in the limelight preceded the Pythons by ten years or so, I think, but I am curious as to whether Lehrer and the Pythons paths ever crossed.

I mean, who could argue with Nikolai Ivanovic Lobachevsky, or Rickety-tickety-tin? For more on Lehrer, check out - among his accomplishments, verified and unverified, he is reputed to have originated the ironic use of the term "copious free time" and invented the jello shot. He also taught mathematics at Harvard and MIT. My kind of guy;)

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ladycaviar: how many of us would have failed chemistry if not for Lehrer's Elements song?

I once sang the Masochism Tango in a red slinky dress from atop a piano.

jonathanh at 12:26 pm May 08

Sorry I missed it.

gna42 at 8:50 am March 25

and don't forget his influence on the children with "Silent E"... "New Math" just confused me.. (and I always had to stay after the show and clean the erasers).

"I ache for the touch of your lips dear,
but much more for the touch of your whips dear...
You can raise welts, like nobody else,
as we dance to the Masochism Tango"...

(having friends who are professional dominatrixes (dominatri? What is the multiple of 'domiatrix'?) that song has always been more than amusing...

The humour that molded our lives, has to have some cross-over, how can they not be influenced. I know that I hear one thing and then want to make my own (see: "boobies").

"Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad..." and... "always look on the Bright Side of Life..."

jonathanh at 12:28 pm May 08

... that Mr. Lehrer was responsible for the silent e... I once played the silent e on a radio teleplay...

johnsonkatt: .....and that is, that the Pythons and Mr Lehrer actually crossed paths on a little TV show called "That Was The Week That Was," in the mid-60s. David Frost MC'd the British version, and Henry Fonda hosted the American version. Mister Idle and Mister Chapman wrote and appeared in the BBC show, and Mister Lehrer was, of course, on the NBC show.....phenomenal stuff, really turned lots of heads around.

"Some of us" (in my case, during my never-misspent high school youth) were SO very excited every Friday evening, to hear what those whacky, irreverent, satirical wits had to say. These included Mike Nichols (of course, in later years, director of countless phenomenal films, as well as "SPAMALOT" on Broadway) and Elaine May, Woody Allen, Alan Alda, Gene Hackman (no kidding), Buck Henry (pre-"Get Smart" and SNL, of course), and others. See

And again, thanks for the question`~TT

jonathanh at 12:35 pm May 08

Katman, your answer is great context, esp. for those of us who experienced these comics after they were first released. I learned Tom Lehrer songs from a friend of mine, whose parents had one of his albums. Experiencing Lehrer that way, you get a chance to really mine the lyrics, but you can only infer the comic behind them. It was interesting to go back and research him before writing this post, and discover the man himself.