"Take my mother-in-law - please," isn't a joke you're likely to hear often these days from Sunda Croonquist. The veteran comic is being sued by her mother-in-law after making her the punchline of too many jokes.
The mother-in-law is accusing Croonquist of spreading false, defamatory and racist lies with in-law jokes that have become a staple of her routine in nightclubs and on television channels like Comedy Central....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."'
Croonquist said there was a time when her in-laws would laugh with everyone else at the black-member-of-a-Jewish-family jokes.
"They played my tape at Passover one year, and they loved it!" she said.
But things changed after Croonquist, promoting upcoming gigs in New Jersey, posted information on her website that, according to her in-laws, allowed pretty much anyone to figure out the identities of her in-laws.
They sued in April in US District Court in New Jersey, where they live. The action seeks unspecified damages and demands that Croonquist remove any offensive statements from her website, routines and recordings.
Croonquist says she would drop any language her family finds offensive, but refuses to pay any settlement. Her lawyer has filed a motion to have the suit dismissed, and a judge is scheduled to hear it on Sept. 8...
And for the record my mother-in-law is awesome.