03/27/2012 05:06 pm ET

Cost Of Laughing Index Shows Prices Rising For Humor Staples

Gasoline isn't the only precious commodity that has increased in price in the last 12 months -- so have rubber chickens.

It's sad but true: The wholesale price for a dozen rubber chickens flew up from $72 to $78, an increase of a whopping 8 percent, according to Malcolm Kushner, a humor consultant who has been releasing his annual Cost Of Laughing Index every April 1 since 1987.

The Index tracks the prices of various humor indicators, such as comedy club tickets, Groucho glasses, the price of Mad magazine and, yes, rubber chickens.

This year is a low point for lowbrow humor because the current rubber chicken rate is the highest since Kushner began the Index.

"Not only has the price increased 8 percent since last year, but it's gone up 53 percent since 2009," Kushner told HuffPost. "When the Index began, the price was only $43.20 a dozen. If this keeps up, we'll have to put rubber chickens on the endangered species list."

Other laughable items that cost more than they did in 2010 include the price for writing a 30-minute sitcom script, which jumped from $16,424 to $16,752, and the price of a ticket to see improv comedy at Second City in Chicago, which has increased from $3 to $20.

But while your yucks cost more bucks than last year, there is some reason to smile: MAD magazine still costs $5.99 and the price of whoopie cushions stayed flat at $1.20 per dozen.

A price increase isn't fun whether it's for gas or guffaws, but Kushner says there are some mitigating circumstances -- at least where laughs are concerned.

"Because it's an election year, Americans will get free humor watching all the presidential candidates," Kushner said.