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It’s Not Funny! The Cost of Laughing Is on the Rise

The latest inflation reports from the government showed prices are in check but there’s one crucial part of the economy that is experiencing some serious inflationary pressure: Comedy.

Rubber Chicken
Influx Productions | Photodisc | Getty Images

The Cost of Laughing Index, which measures 16 leading humor indicators including rubber chickens and singing telegrams, jumped 3.4 percent in 2009, the Kushner Groupreports.

Rubber chickens were the biggest culprit for the index’s rise: Prices shot up 41 percent to $72 a dozen.

While Americans grapple with higher healthcare costs, “the world’s most popular cheap medicine — laughter — may soon be unaffordable!” said an outraged Malcolm Kushner, a lawyer-turned-comedian and founder of the Kushner Group.

“Rubber chickens are even better than chicken soup,” he quipped, “but with rubber chicken prices at $72 a dozen, we’re the ones in the soup!”

The price of Groucho glasses was up 40 percent to $21 a dozen, while the cost of writing a half-hour sitcom jumped 30 percent to nearly $16,000. A copy of MAD magazine went up by one dollar and the price of a singing telegram (both pink gorillas and dancing chickens) went up 20 percent to $185.

The price of admission to comedy clubs across the country was generally flat, though a few lowered prices and one — Second Cityin Chicago — actually raised its prices by two dollars.

Just one indicator fell: The price of whoopee cushions dropped a whopping 37 percent.

You’d better start practicing making those noises yourself because key manufacturer of whoopee cushions is discontinuing them.


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