Comic's Mother-in-Law Sues Over Jokes

Sunda Croonquist's mother-in-law seeks damages for Jew jokes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2009 4:44 PM CDT
This Nov. 2006 photo provided by Sunda Croonquist shows Croonquist, left, and her mother-in-law, Ruth Zafrin at Croonquist's daughter, Tovah Zafrin's 4th birthday party in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Mark Zafrin, ho)
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(Newser) – The situation faced by comedian Sunda Croonquist sounds like it’s from one of her routines: mother-in-law sues comedian after being the butt of one too many jokes. But Croonquist’s mother-in-law is serious—she says her daughter-in-law makes her sound like a racist. She’s seeking unspecified damages and demands that the comedian remove references to her and her family from the act, the AP reports.

That would be tough for Croonquist: She's half-black and half-Swedish and married into a Jewish family. Sample joke: She says her in-laws told her, "We don't want a (baby) name that's difficult to pronounce like Shaniqua. We're thinking a name short but delicious. Like Hadassah or Goldie." Her jokes are "nice," she says. "There's nothing bad, nothing defamatory. She says she’ll drop any language her in-laws find offensive but won’t pay damages. A hearing takes place next month.