According to the 2011 Cost of Laughing Index -- a compilation of 16 leading humor indicators, including rubber chickens, Groucho glasses, comedy club tickets and the fee of writing a TV sitcom -- Americans are paying 3 percent more per laugh than last year.
According to humor consultant Malcolm Kushner, who has compiled the index since 1987, the increased price of chuckles, giggles and snickers comes at a bad time.
He developed the index to track how the punch line affects the bottom line and says this year the biggest price increase percentagewise came from Groucho glasses.
"In 2009, Groucho glasses cost $15 a dozen," Kushner griped. "Now they're $24. That's a 60 percent increase in just two years! At that price even Groucho couldn't afford them."
Another big jump in laughter prices came from the TV world, where the minimum price of writing a TV sitcom rose from $15,946 to $16,424.
But it wasn't all sad news where the cost of laughter is concerned.
Many leading laughter indicators stayed at the same price as 2010, including the cost of a dozen chickens, which remains steady at $72 per dozen, and the price of the average issue of Mad magazine, which stayed at $5.99 per issue.
In one case, laughter got cheaper. In 2010, a box of 12 whoopee cushions was $3. Now, a year later, the price has deflated to $1.20.
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