Sunday, December 10, 2006
The Lightbulb Joke
The lightbulb joke is an example of an endless-variations joke and has possibly thousands of versions covering every imaginable culture, belief, occupation and special-interest group. Generally the punchline is not complimentary to the group providing the subject of the joke. The generally acknowledged "original" goes as follows:
Q: How many [insert chosen group here] does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Ten — one to hold the lightbulb and nine to turn the ladder around.
The common pattern for a light bulb joke could be formulated as follows:
Q: How many members of a (given demographic group) does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 'N+1 (where N is a positive whole number)' — one to hold the lightbulb and N to behave in a fashion generally associated with a negative stereotype of that group.