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Mother-in-Law Can't Take a Joke, Sues Comedian

Mother-in-Law Can't Take a Joke, Sues Comedian

Well, a comedian who just happens to be her daughter-in-law!

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but comedian Sunda Croonquist’s mother-in-law Ruth Zafrin was not kidding when she filed a lawsuit against Sunda for telling so many jokes about her. Croonquist capitalizes on their ethnic differences in her envelope-pushing jokes — she is half-black and half-Swedish, was raised Catholic, and married into a Jewish family.

A typical joke goes something like this. On a first visit to her mother-in-law Ruthie’s house, Croonquist says, "I walk in, I say, 'Thank you so much for having me here, Ruthie.' 'The pleasure’s all mine,' she replies, 'have a seat.' Then she whispers, 'Harriet, put my pocketbook away.'"

Zafrin filed the lawsuit (along with her daughter and her daughter's husband), when material on Croonquist's website made it easy for people to figure out the in-laws' identities. Croonquist is accused of "spreading false, defamatory and racist lies" in comedy club routines that have even been aired on Comedy Central. Croonquist agreed to remove any offensive comments on her website but refused to pay a settlement. (Her husband's law firm is handling her case. Awkward!)

Zafrin isn't exactly giving mother-in-laws a good name. It seems that there would've been a less alienating way of handling this, like, say, asking Croonquist to cut it out! Who do you think is in the wrong?

Image Source: WireImage
pink-pirate pink-pirate 8 years
On her blog she says her in-laws don't want to sue her, but they are. She also says they don't hate each other. Methinks this is less about an alleged grievance and more about making sure they get some of the $$$ she's earning for making fun of them.
janneth janneth 8 years
I don't know, maybe the mother-in-law could only take so much. Being made fun of gets old.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
So if she sues, then her own son pays her the money in a way. It's her son's wife that this mother is going after. I think its horrible. I always wondered about how families take jokes when they have comedians on stage doing that stuff. However there should be some kind of understanding in the beginning. That these jokes will be made on behalf of the family. There should be a pact of some kind to turn the other cheek on this exaggeration which was clearly meant to gain popularity and success.
opentypeA opentypeA 8 years
The MIL overreacted, but if there was stuff about her on the website that could've given away their identity and/or personal information (telephone numbers, addresses, etc.) I can definitely see why she would want that taken down.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Eh, she could have made sure all involved were cool with it. I don't think too many people take comedians jokes seriously though so I think her MIL over reacted. Suing her DIL will surely form a huge rift in the family if there wasn't one there before.
Lori-Gragg Lori-Gragg 8 years
Her mother in law needs to lighten up and she could have just said that hurts my feelings or makes me mad will u plz stop, but comedians joke about differ races and genders and family all the time i didnt even think a comedian cld be sued for something that bcuz they do it so often. its REDICULOUSE (or how eva u spell it lol)
dox dox 8 years
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