One In-Law Joke Too Many

Sunda Croonquist has been joking about her Jewish in-laws for 15 years but they’ve put the kibosh on her kvetching, filing suit against the comedian.

Croonquist’s mother-in-law Ruth Zafrin, daughter Shelley Edelman and Shelley’s husband, Neil, accuse Croonquist of spreading false, defamatory and racist lies with in-law jokes. Croonquist has joked about them in nightclubs and on television channels like Comedy Central.

One joke involves Croonquist’s 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, ‘Harriet! Put my pocketbook away!’”

Croonquist, who converted to Judaism when she met her husband and says she keeps a kosher household, claims her in-laws have enjoyed her jokes through the years.

“They played my tape at Passover one year, and they loved it,” said Croonquist, who is half-black, half-Swedish and was raised Roman Catholic.

But things went south when Croonquist posted information on her Web site that, according to her in-laws, provided enough clues for people to figure out who the in-laws were in real life.

They sued in April in New Jersey, where they live. The action seeks unspecified damages and demands that Croonquist remove any offensive statements from her Web site, routines and recordings.

The comedian refuses to pay unspecified damages. Representing Croonquist is the law firm of her attorney husband.

Croonquist said she’s angry the action has separated her husband and two daughters from their family, noting “This could have broken up my marriage.”