HOW MANY CLIENTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB by Giovanni Diviacchi

HOW MANY CLIENTS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB

A Lawyer Strikes Back
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A stand-up comic and author compiles a collection of lawyer jokes but with a difference.

In this slim dossier, the author tweaks various jokes so that the generally venomous, negative take on attorneys in customary japes and quips is instead turned against “clients.” Now it is plaintiffs and defendants who are selfish, greedy, stupid, mendacious, arrogant, avaricious, and generally buffoonish. Exhibit A: “How many clients does it take to change a light bulb? One—the client holds it and expects the world to revolve around him.” Also slipped into the files is a set of divorce jokes, with cretinous wives and husbands emphasized as the clients, and one or two thigh-slappers centered on jurors. The famous lines that involve a comparison with a dead skunk in the road having skid marks in front of it do not use “client” but go instead after real estate developers. There must be a tale behind that one. Diviacchi (Bring on the Funny: A Businessman’s Joke Book, 2010, etc.) also includes a story about lawyer Abraham Lincoln that isn’t really a joke, just an anecdote that makes that particular attorney look awfully good. The joke about the “client” on his deathbed who asks for a Bible and, thumbing through it, explains that he’s looking for loopholes has been attributed in showbiz folklore to a real-life incident in the final days of adorable sinner W.C. Fields. Many of the jokes in this book seem awfully familiar and might have been so in the days of Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, Henny Youngman, Will Rogers, baggy-pants vaudeville burlesque, or Joe Miller’s Jests. As for the modifications, sometimes the substitution of “client” for “lawyer” ends up meaning that the gag makes less sense (do clients call on witnesses?), but occasionally it becomes a somewhat refreshing switcheroo. The author calls this booklet-sized effort a “stocking stuffer,” which is a fair verdict in the lawyer-gift niche market. This is one of the few cases in which legal matters didn’t generate reams of paperwork.

A thin attorney-friendly joke book that mostly skewers clients.

Pub Date: March 19th, 2006
ISBN: 978-0-8059-7039-5
Page count: 38pp
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co.
Program: Kirkus Indie
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