Have you heard the one about the Jewish woman suing her daughter-in-law for telling too many mother-in-law jokes?
Comic Sunda Croonquist, who is a regular on the Hollywood comedy circuit, is being taken to court by her husband’s mother, Ruth Zafrin, for allegedly spreading false, defamatory and racist lies about her. Mrs Zafrin seeks damages and requests that Ms Croonquist remove any offensive statements from her website and routines.
Ms Croonquist, who is half-Swedish and half-black, converted to Judaism before she met her husband, and says she is clearly not racist. She is willing to drop any language which the family finds offensive, but refuses to pay a settlement.
Gags included her mother-in-law’s reaction to the revelation she was pregnant: “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.”
Initially, the family found her jokes funny, she told Associated Press. “They played my tape at Passover one year, and they loved it.”
But Mrs Zafrin and daughter Shelley Edelman decided to sue when Ms Croonquist posted jokes on her website which allegedly allowed the public to work out the identity of her in-laws.
The case will be heard in Los Angeles on September 8.