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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Variable Modifier  
  Provides the capability of altering standard jokes to fit new circumstances.  

Lester the Jester designs a robot comedian to help him with the creation of off-the-cuff jokes.

"...your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file - so they rassled up a new gimmick, what they call a variable modifier..."
From The Jester, by William Tenn.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1951
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