September 4: Light Bulb Joke Day

On this date in 1882, Thomas Alva Edison pulled the switch that lit the streets of New York City for the first time.  Today we think of Edison as the inventor of the light bulb, or as it was known then “the electric lamp,” but supplying the network of electric power necessary to light all those bulbs was an even greater part of his achievement.

Although Edison had over 1,000 patents, one thing he did not invent was the light bulb joke.  These jokes are an example of a genre of joke, like knock, knock jokes, that have endless variations, covering just about any group of people imaginable.  The set-up question is always the same:  How many (name of group) does it take to change a light bulb?

The answer to the question is the punch line, which inevitably pokes fun at the target group.

For example:

How many teachers does it take to change a light bulb?

Teachers generally don’t change light bulbs, but they can make a dull one brighter.

Today’s Challenge:  The Bulbs They Are A-Changing

Joke writing, like any genre of writing, requires creative thinking and attention to structure.

Below are some sample light bulb jokes from Energy Quest, the energy education website of the California Energy Commission.  Read the jokes, and then take your own “turn” at writing some of your own light bulbous beauties.

How many telemarketers does it take to change a light bulb?  Only one, but he has to do it while you’re eating dinner.

How many procrastinators does it take to change a light bulb?  One, but he has to wait until the light is better.

How many mystery writers does it take to change light bulb? Two.  One to screw the bulb almost all the way in, and one to give a surprising twist at the end.

How many paranoids does it take to change a light bulb?  WHO WANTS TO KNOW?

Quote of the Day:  It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.  –Thomas Aquinas