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"I think we're still on that topic, still trying to figure out what computers are, how they change us, why we use them."
- Neal Stephenson

Robot Comedian  
  Joke-telling feature added to a standard butler robot.  

Teledar comedian Lester the Jester (the "glib sahib of ad-lib") has a butler robot designed to his personal specifications to make use of his extensive joke file to tell original material. Here's how he reacts to the delivery of his new robot comedian.

"You changed his shape!" Lester yelped accusingly, "I sent you a smooth-lined twenty-two hundred and seven model with the cylindrical trunk. You bring back a pear-shaped piece of machinery looking like a wadjacallit - as if it had a paunch all the way around!"

"Look, sir, the techs just had to expand his midsection. Even on microwire that file of jokes took up a lot of space... More space, more weight. But let me turn him on."

The man in the visored helmet inserted a convoluted length of iridium - an official Robot Master Key - into the back of the robot's neck. Two full clanking turns and the machinery purred. Eyebrow ridges clinked upward. Multi-linked lips pursed questioningly.

From The Jester, by William Tenn.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1951
Additional resources -

The robot comedian had two key features that allowed him to ad-lib jokes on demand: a variable modifier and a meson filter.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Jester
  More Ideas and Technology by William Tenn
  Tech news articles related to The Jester
  Tech news articles related to works by William Tenn

Robot Comedian-related news articles:
  - 'Comical Robot' An Aid To Conversations
  - RoboThespian - Robot Comedian Wants Louis CK's Job
  - Ginger the LOLbot
  - Comedian Robot Named Data
  - Pun Generation Via Neural Nets

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