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How many writers…?


How many writers does it take to change one?

How many writers does it take to change one?

…does it take to change a lightbulb?

In the course of writing another post (over on my criminology blog) I wanted a couple of lightbulb jokes.

Don’t ask… it makes sense, sort of, if you read the post about youth crime.

To get the two jokes I wanted I trawled about 300 lightbulb jokes of which several started ‘How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?’


None. Writer’s don’t change lightbulbs, they can’t afford the electricity bills.

Only one, but he/she has to give it a surprising twist at the end.

Only one, but three days later the writer will change it back again because it doesn’t fit the plot.

Two. One to change it, the other to offer a  critique as to how it could have been done better.

Two. The original author to change it and the TV scriptwriter to mangle the characterisation of the lightbulb and the ending.

Two. One to change it and the second to point out that someone else had already changed a light bulb, so changing another one is unoriginal.

Four. One to change it, the other three to say that they’d already had the idea for changing a light bulb, but didn’t want to show anyone what they were doing until they’d finished.

Ten. One to change it and nine to say, “I could have done that.”

Ten. One to change it, nine to write blogs criticising electric lighting because traditional candlelight-based writing won’t survive.

You’ll find more answers (and other twists on some of the same ones) at jaimetheler.blogspot.com.




  1. December 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    And one to reject lightbulbs as old fashioned and claim they use only the light from their kindle/moronpad etc.

    And, of course, Dark Fantasy writers don’t need lightbulbs

    • December 19, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      Of course. Reminds me of another one. How many goths does it take? None, they prefer the dark.

  2. December 19, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Very funny post – thanks for the laugh!!

    • December 19, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. December 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Four. One to change it. The editor (who wants to be a writer) to send an opus on how the change wasn’t cohesive. The copy-editor (who believes herself to be a writer) to criticize the ladder used, and the proof-reader (who thinks she’s a better writer than anyone) to miss the fact that the light bulb blew out immediately.

    • December 19, 2010 at 9:52 pm

      Like it! And the thing is, it’s true (hey wait a minute, I used to be an editor and proofreader…). Yup, it’s true.

  4. December 20, 2010 at 9:56 am

    brilliat, love light bulb jokes, most of mine are too rude for publication lol

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