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 from September 07, 2016
“How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?” (joke)

A popular actor “light bulb” joke was told by American actor Matthew Broderick in 1985:

Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: One hundred. One to do it, and 99 to say “I could do that!”


Another popular version was also told in 1985:

Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.


There have been other versions.


24 May 1985, Back Stage, “Actors Offer Advice At Theatre Seminar” by Michael Sommers, pg. 21A, col. 1:
“How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?” asked Matthew Broderick. No one at the jam-packed “Performance Seminar” sponsored by the American Theatre Wing knew the answer, so the boyish star of “Biloxi Blues” cracked his own punchline: “One hundred. One to do it, and 99 to say ‘I could do that!’”

Google Groups: net.jokes
net.terror
Kurt Guntheroth
8/8/85
From kurt Fri Feb 24 18:17:24 1984
Subject: Canonical Collection of Light Bulb Jokes
(...)
Q:  How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A:  Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Groups: eunet.jokes
Ok.. You asked for it. LIGHTBULB JOKES GALORE !!
Computer Society
2/28/90
(...)
How many actors does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Only one.  They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Groups: alt.fan.lightbulbs
Joke
Mr M J Cleaton
6/21/93
How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?

7 - one to change the bulb and 6 to say ‘That should be me up there’

Google Groups: rec.humor
lightbulb joke
Daniel Park
3/17/94
(...)
How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?

All of them.  One to change it, and the rest to say “I could’ve done that better.”

Google Groups: de.comp.sys.amiga.tech
CD Rom
Thomas Baetzler
3/18/94
(...)
Q:  How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Groups: rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft
Jokes from Canada
Neev Tapiero - CNED/P94
6/8/94
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb
none, that’s a teccie job.

Google Groups: rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft
Call for jokes
Ed Jackson
6/10/94
(...)
Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 101: One to change the bulb, and 100 to say “I could have done that better.”

Google Groups: rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft
Canonical Theatre Joke Collection
Steven Swinkels
11/14/94
(...)
Q:  How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A:  None.  They can never find their light.

Google Books
Internet Insider
By Ruffin Prevost
Berkeley, CA: Osborne McGraw-Hill
1995
Pg. 189:
Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Groups: alt.tasteless.jokes
More lightbulb jokes
ulgal...@cc.memphis.edu
1/1/95
(...)
How many actors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
100. 1 to do it and 99 to say “I could have done that.”

Google Groups: rec.arts.movies
New Hollywood Lightbulb Jokes
vgho...@delphi.com
6/12/95
Some new Hollywood lightbulb jokes that have been making the rounds…

Q. How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A. Depends on the method they use.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Light Bulb Humor 1/5
Ed Boress
7/1/95
(...)
Q:  How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A:  Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Books
Dude, Got Another Joke?
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2002
Pg. 133:
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Google Books
Penguin Pocket Jokes
By David Pickering
New York, NY: Penguin Books
2006
Pg. ?:
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one. They won’t share the spotlight.

Google Books
Ultimate Book of Jokes:
The Essential Collection of More Than 1,500 Jokes

By Scott McNeely
San Francisco, CA; Chronicle Books
2011
Pg. ?:
Q : How many actors does it take to light an oil lamp?
A: Only one. They don’t like to share the lamplight.

Google Books
A Prairie Home Companion
Pretty Good Joke Book (6th Edition)

Introduced by Garrison Keillor
Minneapolis, MN: Highbridge
2015
Pg. ?:
How many actors does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Twitter
Solutions Lighting
‏@SolutionsLight
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb? ...
Only one, they don’t like to share the spotlight. #BadJokeThursdays
6:48 AM - 9 Jul 2015

Twitter
ya’ll got me fucked
‏@asaplwt
@Real_Liam_Payne
how many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
only one. They don’t like sharing the spotlight
#HCCOTS #Sophiam
2:12 AM - 12 Jul 2015

Lighting R Us
How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
Posted by LIGHTINGRUS on SEPTEMBER 7, 2016
…Only one. They don’t like to share the spotlight.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Wednesday, September 07, 2016 • Permalink