A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/19)
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Entry from June 25, 2017
“How many accountants does it take to change a lightbulb?” (joke)

An accountant version of the “lightbulb joke” is:

Q: How many accountants does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: What kind of answer did you have in mind?
A: How many did it take last year?


Accountant versions of the lightbulb joke have been cited in print since at least the early 1980s.


19 March 1983, Boston (MA) Globe, “The battle is raging all across America,” pg. 1:
How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb? 100. One to change the bulb, nine to do the audit, and 90 more to bore everybody else telling them about it.

Google Groups: net.jokes
1985 Canonical Collection of Light Bulb Jokes (April 1)
Craig Werner
3/31/85
(...)
Q: How many accountants does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: What kind of answer did you have in mind?

Google Groups: rec.humor
Brits v Yanks flame war..
James Gillespie
5/27/92
(...)
Q: How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What number did sir have in mind?

Google Groups: rec.humor
Life 5.R
cate3.os...@xerox.com
6/17/92
(...)
Q:  How many accountants does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  None.  Just assume it’s changed.

Google Groups: misc.taxes
Accountant Jokes
Dick Adams
4/22/95
(...)
#4— Q: How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: You’re joking—Accountants don’t engage in productive labor.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Light Bulb Humor 1/5
Ed Boress
7/1/95
(...)
Q:  How many accountants does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A:  What kind of answer did you have in mind?

Google Groups: alt.society.zeitgeist
How many ..... does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Jerry Sheehan
12/10/96
(...)
Q: How many accountants does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: What kind of answer did you have in mind?
A: None-just assume it’s changed.

Google Groups: comp.publish.prepress
OT: Vacation time in Prepress
Keith Davidson
6/16/01
(...)
How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
Don’t know - how many did it take last year??? 

8 February 2002, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), “Called to account,” pg. 3:
Q: HOW MANY accountants does it take to change a light bulb? A: What kind of answer did you have in mind? An old joke, but one unlikely to provoke an indignant rebuff these days.

30 June 2002, Herald Times Reporter (Manitowoc, WI), “Humor even finds way into scandal” by Pat Pankratz, pg. C1, col. 1:
Q: How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Hmmm...let me run a few numbers and get back to you.

Google Books
A Prairie Home Companion
Pretty Good Joke Book

By Brian Becker
Minneapolis, MN: HighBridge
2003
Pg. 36:
How many accountants does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
What kind of answer did you have in mind?

31 August 2008, Sunday Times (London, UK), “The Andrew Davidson Interview,” pg. 6:
As the old joke goes, how many accountants does it take to change a lightbulb? What kind of answer did you have in mind?

Google Books
101 Amazing Lightbulb Jokes
By Jack Goldstein
Andrews UK Limited
2013
Pg. ?:
How many accountants does it take to change a lightbulb?
What sort of answer did you have in mind?

Twitter
Dad Jokes‏
@GoodOldDadJokes
How many accountants does it take to change a light bulb?
How many did it take last year?
#taxday #dadjokes
5:30 PM - 18 Apr 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, June 25, 2017 • Permalink