I suppose I have my mother to thank for turning me on to Tom Lehrer, one of the most brilliant musical satirists alive. His stage patter alone would be worth listening to, but the fact is that each of his songs is a polished little diamond of parodic perfection.
Lehrer was very much admired by the educated snobbery of another age – being very much an elitist snob himself – though I doubt too many people under forty have him on their iPods (I do).
If you don’t know him, I’d recommend the winning “Lobachevsky” which is as good a place to start as any. It’s the sordid tale of a mathematician who plagiarizes his great masterpiece, which is then turned into a Soviet blockbuster film “starring Ingrid Bergman” – or alternately Brigitte Bardot – “as part of hypotenuse.”