Nightclubs: The Sabbatical Satirist

As a statistician, he specializes in the laws of probability. As a cabaret performer, he defies them. For when Satirist Tom Lehrer "retired" from show business in 1960 to return to math and Harvard, he deliberately buried his alter ego—and, it seemed, any chance of a comeback. Many fans even believed widespread reports that he had killed himself. Instead it was Lehrer who was slaying the customers last week at San Francisco's hungry i, where he proved to be the nightclub's biggest draw since the Limelighters played there in 1959.

Some of Lehrer's numbers were old standbys updated ("Back to...

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