RSS
Sunda Croonquist: A comic sued by her mother-in-law
A black comedian and her Jewish mother-in-law walk into a courtroom ...

"Thank you, Internet gods," said Gonzalo Cordova in Comedy Central Insider. It's not every day that a humor blogger comes across a story like this: "A mother-in-law is suing comedian Sunda Croonquist for making too many mother-in-law jokes." Croonquist is half black, half Swedish, and grew up Roman Catholic. Her mother-in-law, Ruth Zafrin, is Jewish, and says Croonquist is spreading hurtful lies with jokes like the one about her mother-in-law urging her to name her daughter Hadassah or Goldie something hard to pronounce, like Shaniquah. (watch an NBC report on Croonquist and her mother-in-law)

Sure, poke fun at Croonquist's mother-in-law, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. A joke is just a joke, right? "Yes, well, not everyone would laugh about being the subject of that joke, especially when it’s their daughter-in-law casting them as a racist." Defamation and slander still hurt even when committed by a comic on stage.

Every comedian makes in-law jokes, said the entertainment blog Pop Eater. And Sunda Croonquist has been making them for years -- like the one about how her mother-in-law, the day she met, welcomed Croonquist into her home, then turned and said, "Harriet, put my pocketbook away." But Soonquist can't be having fun joking about the in-laws any more -- maybe it's time for some new material.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week