Tom Lehrer

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Tom Lehrer performing in 1960
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Tom Lehrer (1928–) is an American musician, satirist, and mathematician. Lehrer is known for his comedic and satirical songs which usually involve science and mathematics, such as his song "The Elements",[1] which recites all the chemical elements up to Nobelium. As of the 1970s, Tom Lehrer has spent the majority of his time teaching music theater and mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He got out of music and comedy after only three albums when Henry Kissinger got the Nobel Peace Prize, an event he claimed made satire superfluous.

Though raised Jewish, Lehrer identifies as an agnostic.[2]

He also claims to have invented the Jell-O shot to circumvent restrictions on alcoholic beverages at the army base where he was stationed, although this may already have been invented.[3]

Coincidentally, Lehrer is also the German word for "teacher."

External links[edit]


  1. "The Elements" animation on YouTube
  2. Warren Allen Smith (2002). "Tom Lehrer". Celebrities in hell. chelCpress. p. 72. ISBN 9781569802144. "He responded: No one is more dangerous than someone who thinks he has The Truth. To be an atheist is almost as arrogant as to be a fundamentalist. But then again, I can get pretty arrogant."