Accio Nerd Cred
November 13, 2010 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Daniel Radcliffe sings "The Elements". Sadly it seems there's not a lot of Tom Lehrer fans in the audience.

Bonus Radcliffe: Trying to "flirt" on Extras.
posted by kmz (56 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sadly it seems there's not a lot of Tom Lehrer fans in the audience.

His fans aren't 70 years old.

But you can bet at least half of his fans are acquainting themselves with Lehrer right now.
posted by pracowity at 12:24 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, DanRad. The truth comes out! Somehow you've gotten yourself a gig being famous when you're secretly a wacky homeschool kid full-grown and unleashed upon the world. Wait, that's not a secret at all. It's cool, you're still my favorite, though.
posted by Mizu at 12:27 AM on November 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


I sadly speak from experience when I point out that the club of Tom Lehrer fans under 25 is a small lonely one indeed.

It's too bad Radcliffe didn't do the Hahvad ending though.
posted by zachlipton at 12:28 AM on November 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have a periodic table shower curtain that my SO got me from thinkgeek a while back, I've been trying to memorize them, one column each time I step in the shower. Now I know I'm doing it wrong.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:29 AM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hope I don't derail my own post, but now I'm on an Extras binge again and rewatching my favorite celeb bits: Ian McKellan on acting, Patrick Stewart's script, and Orlando Bloom seems slightly jealous of Johnny Depp.
posted by kmz at 12:41 AM on November 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Heh. My sister heard, and appreciated, Tom Lehrer's version in highschool :) :)

Unfortunately, that's her only acquaintance with G&S. :(

(Me, I didn't know about Tom Lehrer until college, when one of my professors made Lehrer mix tapes for each of the eight or so of us in one of his grad courses, which I sat in on as an undergrad. But he didn't just copy others' works: that same prof also gave us all xeroxes of his own published books, so we wouldn't, as poor students, have to purchase them. Need I mention he's a lefty? Great guy; he also let me sit in ("audit" without paying) one of his classes last year, long after I matriculated and expected he would have forgotten me.Thanks to him, I now own and enjoy several Lehrer CDs. He may also have made me more of a liberal.)
posted by orthogonality at 12:43 AM on November 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh my gods. I just squeed. This was awesome. I grew up on Tom Lehrer thanks to a mother with a great sense of the absurd. And this just made my day.
posted by strixus at 12:47 AM on November 13, 2010


His fans aren't 70 years old.

HEY
posted by louche mustachio at 1:12 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude posed naked with a horse and I wasn't interested. But his...ah,
posted by iamkimiam at 2:00 AM on November 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Not a Daniel Radcliffe fan, but did look up Tom Lehrer and I've become his fan instead.

This is all kinds of awesome, for instance. This was nice. Haven't thought much about the multiple uses of the silent e nor mused on the adverb forms of words much either.
posted by the cydonian at 2:36 AM on November 13, 2010


Ah, sorry, I should have linked the previous posts on Lehrer. If you haven't heard him before you're in for a treat.
posted by kmz at 2:57 AM on November 13, 2010


Tom Lehrer is fantastic & Daniel Radcliffe has just gone up in my estimation as a result of this.
posted by pharm at 3:12 AM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


When I was young, everyone I know was a Tom Lehrer fan. May have had a wee small bit to do with going to an engineering school...
posted by Zed at 3:56 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


having been married to a chemistry teacher (we had the shower curtain too, and the placemat under the cat-food bowls), i first heard this years and years ago -- and to see an icon of a younger generation memorize this (and do it in public, overshadowing colin farrell's grizzled self-importance) sort of gives me hope for our future... esp when he tells the audience to BE QUIET.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:26 AM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


who is that kid? wait ... is he the one who played harry potter? singing the song of one of the funniest, most talented piano-playing satirists of the 20th century? who also happened to be a mathematician on the side? is that who was singing the elements song?
posted by msconduct at 4:43 AM on November 13, 2010


Dear Parents: Teach your children to Be Prepared.

"Be prepared to hold your liquor pretty well/
Don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:14 AM on November 13, 2010


I don't like him myself, but I know my kids have Tom Lehrer on their ipods.

I suspect they might be changelings...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:15 AM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Too bad it's the missing couplet about Harvard that makes the bit. IT MAKES THE BIT, HARRY.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:56 AM on November 13, 2010


This seems an absolutely ideal time to relink Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
posted by cthuljew at 6:03 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Animation: The Elements.
posted by ericb at 6:09 AM on November 13, 2010


Oh dear, I now have a thing for Dan Radcliffe.

And my thing for Ricky Gervais has just expanded by some huge factor. Anybody seen Gervais on Louis CK's show?
posted by angrycat at 7:01 AM on November 13, 2010


"Tom Lehrer, in my opinion, is the cleverest and funniest man of the 20th century."

Well, my opinion of Radcliffe just rose a little. (Admittedly it wasn't like especially low to begin with.)

This seems an absolutely ideal time to relink Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

Man, I loved the part where Harry takes Hermione's parents to task. You know what I'm talking about, cthuljew.
posted by pts at 7:06 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and all Rihanna had was her waxing story.
posted by dzaz at 7:12 AM on November 13, 2010


Ah, DanRad. The truth comes out! Somehow you've gotten yourself a gig being famous when you're secretly a wacky homeschool kid full-grown and unleashed upon the world.

This is part of my soft spot for the guy -- not only could I tell early on that he actually had the chops (I actually SAW Equus -- I've been a fan of the play itself since I was twelve -- and he blew me away), but in every interview I've read, he always came across as this goofy, nerdy, likeable kid, rather than trying to project this "older than his years" persona. He went on Conan O'Brien's show once when he was about fourteen, and it was just hands-down adorable -- he talked about a tiny celebrity crush he had, spoke with gleaming eyes about maybe buying a "big red Cadillac" someday, and as the interview was wrapping up, he shyly asked if he could also pull the Walker, Texas Ranger lever. I wanted to give him cookies and milk and a pat on the head, for God's sake.

This may be a repost, but here's another video -- back when Equus was on Broadway, the cast joined in with that years' "Equity Fights AIDS" campaigns, doing fundraising after each show and then joining in with the "Gypsy Of The Year" event -- "Gypsy Of The Year" is kind of like a "talent show" for Broadway casts, in which each cast presents some special musical number in a goofy competition. They also present a plaque to the cast that raised the most money for the Equity Fights AIDS campaign. Not only did Equus win that plaque, they also stole the Gypsy show -- with a song Dan wrote that was basically "If Equus was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on November 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, I wake up this morning to find out I didn't know how much I like Daniel Radcliffe.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 7:41 AM on November 13, 2010


Really the more I think about it the more convinced I am that we really need to get this kid a MeFi account.
posted by Mizu at 8:41 AM on November 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Just awesome.

There are at least 40 kids under 10 who know who Lehrer is, because I use the Magic E song in my first-grade classroom when we're learning magic e, along with the other Electric Company stuff he did.
posted by Huck500 at 8:51 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't think I was ever likely to be a Radcliffe fan, but I think I'm a little in love with him (in a totally nonsexual way) for that.
posted by immlass at 9:00 AM on November 13, 2010


When I was a child I thought the lyric was not Polonium but Boloneyum.

Which put a rather different spin on the song.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:09 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, parents: do your part to spread the awesomeness of Tom Lehrer by singing "L-Y" (another Electric Company gem) to your children.
posted by theredpen at 10:17 AM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's a very articulate and well presented young man. No wonder the Harry Potter movies have been so popular.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:52 PM on November 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Okay, Daniel Radcliffe is my official Totally Heterosexual Man-Crush, just for that. I love the fact that despite no one in the audience is a fan he decides to sing it anyway and then flubs it and tells everyone to shut up so that he can concentrate. Awesome.

I am, btw, 41, and have been a Lehrer fan since I was... 12?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2010


Looks like he's dressing better these days than this disaster.
posted by marble at 3:51 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


My first exposure to Tom Lehrer was when the (now) late local Saturday afternoon horror movie host would lip-sync to Lehrer's "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park" and "We'll All Go Together When We Go."

I've been a fan ever since.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:15 PM on November 13, 2010


Oh, and Daniel Radcliffe is now officially all kinds of awesome in my book.
posted by lordrunningclam at 4:16 PM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


My dad was an engineer and we had EVERY Tom Lehrer album. I did one of his songs at a junior high talent show (and almost got expelled). Agree that Daniel has just notched up several pegs in my book too.
posted by darren at 5:35 PM on November 13, 2010


Ten points to Gryffindor.
posted by you're a kitty! at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


For what it's worth, my mom got the Rhino boxed set when she heard "Hanukkah in Santa Monica" and donated to NPR. And that, my friends, is as Jewish as it gets.
posted by cthuljew at 5:42 PM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


There was not a single person in that room that wanted to hear that song. BUT HE SANG IT ANYWAY, MOTHERFUCKERS! AND SHUT UP SO HE CAN THINK!!

This is all kinds of awesome!
posted by jeoc at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2010


Also, Rhianna checking her non-existent watch in the middle of the song? Honey, you WISH you could pull this off.
posted by jeoc at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love the fact that despite no one in the audience is a fan he decides to sing it anyway and then flubs it and tells everyone to shut up so that he can concentrate.

And then orders everyone to applaud.
posted by eugenen at 7:22 PM on November 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's a very articulate and well presented young man.

This is a Curious Sofa reference, I assume.
posted by kenko at 7:43 PM on November 13, 2010


When he told everyone to be quiet so he could concentrate, did anyone else think, "and there's your future Doctor"?
posted by Mikey-San at 9:03 PM on November 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


okay maybe not but still
posted by Mikey-San at 9:18 PM on November 13, 2010


This totally makes up for Dan Radcliffe's unfortunate Sid Vicious obsession! But, why didn't he sing my favorite Tom Lehrer song:

I got it from Albus
He got it from Sir Nicholas de Mim (sy-Porpington)
We all agree it must have been him
Grawp who gave it to him

Now, he got it from Harry
Who got it from Hermione
And everybody knows that Hermione
Got it from me

McGonagall got it from Mad-Eye Moody
He got it from Susan Bones
Who picked it up in County Cork
A-kissin' the Philosopher's Stone

Macnair gave it to Sirius
Who must have brought it there
He got it from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Aha, lucky Macnair

Draco got it from Pansy
Who gets it every spring
She got it from her daddy
Who just gives her everything

She then gave it to Great Aunt Muriel
Whose spaniel has it now
Our (Muggle!) dentist even got it
And we're still wondering how

But I got it from Albus
Or maybe it was Florean Fortescue
Or Percy Weasley or Ron Weasley or Ginny Weasley or Molly Weasley
It doesn't matter who

It might have been at the Hog's Head pub
Or at the club, or in the loo
And if you will be my friend then I might...
Mind you, I said might
Give it to you!

posted by Mael Oui at 9:20 PM on November 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Those of you who get BBC America on Cable -- the episode of The Graham Norton Show in which this appears is on Saturday the 20th.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:28 PM on November 13, 2010


And those of you who get BBC in its home country...uh, I'm assuming you saw it already as we seem to be behind you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:29 PM on November 13, 2010


Yes ... Graham Norton on BBC America always trails the U.K. by one week.
posted by ericb at 8:03 AM on November 14, 2010


OBLIGATORY JAPANESE VERSION
posted by dubitable at 9:49 AM on November 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let's see. My name is Daniel. I've sung The Elements in front of an audience. And a small child once asked me if I was Harry Potter (and I was not dressed up as Harry Potter).

I have way more in common with Daniel Radcliffe than I would have thought possible.
posted by Green With You at 11:43 AM on November 14, 2010


MetaFilter: way more in common with Daniel Radcliffe than I would have thought possible.
posted by hippybear at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2010


Holy crap, I found a video of that Conan O'Brien appearance he made when he was fourteen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:06 PM on November 14, 2010


theredpen: "Yes, parents: do your part to spread the awesomeness of Tom Lehrer by singing "L-Y" (another Electric Company gem) to your children."

After showing them this clip, my kids and I spent hours on Saturday watching Lehrer videos on YouTube. They've been raised on Bugs Bunny, Arrested Development, Monty Python and Little Britain and thought he was right up there.

A new generation is born.
posted by dzaz at 2:51 AM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Couldn't resist adding my $0.2:

I started becoming friendly with my now-boyfriend at a Tom Lehrer sing-along party that he threw. It was fairly decently attended (like, a good 20-25 people). Some of us can even play and sing TL on the piano. We are all in our mid-to-late 20s. In fact, I am astounded by the number of young people I've met in the past few years who can do the Vatican Rag and enjoy poisoning pigeons in the park. Including, apparently, Daniel Radcliffe.

A small group? Perhaps. Nerdy? Definitely. Lonely? Far from it! In fact, TL probably deserves some of the credit for helping me find the most wonderful boy in the world, along with some of my best friends. Just sayin. :)

(Hey, Dan - if you have some downtime in between performances of How to Succeed... and want to hang out, give us a ring!)
posted by bookgirl18 at 9:48 AM on November 15, 2010


I'm not ancient and I love Tom Lehrer! I've loved him since high school. I knew my boy was for me when I played him the masochism tango and the vatican rag and watched his eyes light up. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park is our Spring son. And I liked DR, but now I like him better. Nerd cred indeed.
posted by pywacket at 5:46 PM on November 15, 2010


cthuljew: I cannot possibly thank you enough for turning me onto Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
posted by teatime at 12:55 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


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