Sunda Croonquist: Mother-in-Law Ruth Zafrin Sues Comedian
Mother-in-law jokes are as old as time, but they are getting comedian Sunda Croonquist sued. Croonquist is being sued by her mother-in-law for making jokes at her expense.
Sunda Croonquist's mother-in-law Ruth Zafrin is suing her for spreading false, defamatory and racist lies. Mother-in-law jokes have been a staple of Sunda Crooquist's comedy routine. Croonquist, who is half-black and half-Swedish and raised Catholic, married into a Jewish family and find her family life a constant source of comic inspiration.
ake the one about her mother-in-law's reaction to news she was pregnant with her first child: "OK, now that we know you're having a little girl I want to know what you're naming that little tchotchke. Now we don't want a name that's difficult to pronounce like Shaniqua. We're thinking a name short but delicious. Like Hadassah or Goldie."
Or her first visit to her mother-in-law's house: "I walk in, I say, 'Thank you so much for having me here, Ruthie.' She says, 'The pleasure's all mine, have a seat.'" Then, in a loud aside, 'Harriet, put my pocketbook away.'"
The lawsuit may have stemmed not just from the jokes, but the fact that Sunda Croonquist posted information on her website that her in-laws believe reveals too much about their identity.
Ruth Zafrin and other family members decided to sue Sunda Croonquist in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The suit asks for damages as well as the removal of any offensive material from the Croonquist's website.
Croonquist says she is willing to take down any offensive material, but refuses to pay any damages. A hearing is set for September 8.