Talk:Lightbulb joke

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How many Psychiatrists joke not right[edit]

The psychiatrist joke punchline, as currently written (None - The light bulb has to want to change), makes no sense.

The punchline, as I've heard it, is: "Only one, but the lightbulb must really want to change"

PhiDeck (talk) 18:39, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

There are a few "How many... to change? / None." jokes, such as "store clerk / none, they can't even change a $5 bill" and "babysitter / none, they can't even change a soiled diaper". All are puns on the word "change". K7L (talk) 19:24, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Possible origin: Indian caste system[edit]

I first heard the story sometime in the early 1970s, not as a joke but as serious commentary about the Indian caste system. The story was allegedly told by a Western traveler who had visited an Indian hotel. A total of around five men came to his room to change the light bulb; each of them representing a different caste. One man could not do all tasks, as it would include work reserved for a different caste. If I remember correctly the roles were as follows:

  1. A man to change the bulb (electrician caste)
  2. A man to carry ladders (porter caste)
  3. A man to clean the dust of the lamp before the bulb change (cleaning caste)
  4. A man representing hotel management
  5. A Brahmin to communicate with the White foreigner

There may also have been a sixth man to serve as an interpreter in case the Brahmin in question did not speak English.

I have been looking for the original story for about 20 years, so far I have not come across it. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:19, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

P.S. – Here is a similar story from the modern age: How many S'porean to change lightbulb? Not a joke. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

meta variants[edit]

The article should include some of the more well-known "meta" variants of the joke, such as "Q: How many feminists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: That's not funny!" or "Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb? A: Two, one to hold the giraffe, and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools."[1] etc. etc... AnonMoos (talk) 00:04, 19 August 2014 (UTC)

What kind of citation?[edit]

A few days ago I added the German version of the lightbulb joke (which is told about East Frisians). An editor added "citation needed." I gave two references, one to German Wikipedia's article on East Frisian jokes and another to a Website with jokes about East Frisian jokes. They were removed with the comment: "Reverted 1 edit by Mbshu (talk): Such references (wikipedia pages an simple joke lists) not allowed in englisch [sic] wikipedia." I am still inclined to think that a joke list is a suitable reference for a joke. What else am I expected to provide?! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mbshu (talkcontribs) 03:55, 21 August 2014 (UTC)