Video: Comedian sued by mother-in-law for defamation

posted at 8:05 am on August 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

No Obamateurism for today — Obama’s on vacation, which means a dearth of material — so instead I’ll lead off today with the joke about a comedian’s mother-in-law who doesn’t like being called a racist. Stop me if you’ve heard this one, okay? It’s a real laugh riot, especially the part where the process servers show up with the lawsuit:


“It’s a joke!” 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. I’m not sure why Campbell Brown finds this so hard to understand. Brown mentions that Croonquist actually identifies the mother-in-law by name on stage, as well as other family members, none of whom volunteered to be ridiculed so that Croonquist could make a few bucks in show biz. “It’s not my fault,” Croonquist says, that everyone knows who they are, but of course it is. Croonquist didn’t just include them in her act by accident.

Defamation and slander is still defamation and slander when done by a comedian on stage, especially when the alleged victim is a private person and not someone seeking public attention, like a politician or entertainer. The most annoying part of this interview comes at the very end, when Croonquist claims she’s the victim. Be sure to get out the airsickness bags.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Publicity stunt.

Fletch54 on August 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM

The mother in law has no sense of humor.

keep the change on August 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM

She converted to Judaism?

Color me….

I mean……

Paint me…….

Black.

No. Yellow.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Shy Guy on August 28, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Publicity stunt.

Fletch54 on August 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Now they’ll both sue you.

Shy Guy on August 28, 2009 at 8:13 AM

The real crime is that she’s not funny…

Skt510 on August 28, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Oy Vey. They need to appear on Judge Alex, or People’s Court, or Judge Joe Brown, or maybe Jerry Springer. Nice publicity tour for the aspiring comedianne.

kingsjester on August 28, 2009 at 8:15 AM

She wasted her 10m minutes of fame on this?
feh

bbz123 on August 28, 2009 at 8:16 AM

Is this for real???
It’s just a joke??
Hey,, she was using her mother-in-law’s NAME!! CALLING HER A RACIST BY NAME!!
CNN is defending her!?? So funny!! Guess they wouldn’t mind then if she started using CNN for her act instead of her mother-in-law!
Yeah,,, start making jokes about that CNN anchor,, call her a racist by name and identify her as “that crazy racist CNN anchor!” It would be a riot! See how that goes!

JellyToast on August 28, 2009 at 8:16 AM

Don’t know if I would want to sue if my son in-law used me for joke fodder, but I do know he wouldn’t be invited to Christmas dinner and Santa would have suddenly forgotten his existence.

Sloan Morganstern on August 28, 2009 at 8:16 AM

The most annoying part of this interview comes at the very end, when Croonquist claims she’s the victim

I’m a victim of her attempt at comedy.

I’m also a victim of Hotair subjecting me to CNN.

Anybody got John Edwards’ office number?

mankai on August 28, 2009 at 8:17 AM

CNN today, and tomorrow the view.

DFCtomm on August 28, 2009 at 8:17 AM

That Shvartzer is making fun of me? Oy Vey, Aaron, why couldn’t you marry a good Jewish girl?

keep the change on August 28, 2009 at 8:18 AM

The son has three lawyers from his firm representing his wife. I wonder if this is a money grab by mama or maybe mama is a racist. Either way she should’ve talked to them before filling this suit.

Don Carne on August 28, 2009 at 8:18 AM

Ok, she had my sympathy until, “identifies the mother-in-law by name on stage” and “where they work where they live”

And it “strengthened our family.” Yeah, nothing creates a healthy family like turning your spouse against their parents.

- The Cat

MirCat on August 28, 2009 at 8:18 AM

The Precedent may be on vacation today. That doesn’t mean he won’t be in front of the camera for some reason today. It hasn’t stopped him the rest of the week.

13thdistrictvoter on August 28, 2009 at 8:19 AM

I hope the department of hate speech doesn’t throw her in with the minotaur.

jhffmn on August 28, 2009 at 8:19 AM

P.S. It’s the Juice fault!!!!!!!!! She’s racist against the black woman of course!!!!!!! This lawsuit only proves it!!!!!!!!

MirCat on August 28, 2009 at 8:20 AM

But calling Al Burack racist is horrible and boycott worthy.

Aristotle on August 28, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Should have left the MIL’s name out of it, kept the thing slightly anonymous.

Bishop on August 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Sorry, but she really is sitting on gold mine, and I would love to see that act. I smell publicity stunt, too. Can you imagine the new material she can come up with after this incident?

GrammarPolice on August 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM

CNN takes one step closer to Entertainment Tonight…..

BigWyo on August 28, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Aristotle on August 28, 2009 at 8:20 AM

If only he were Jewish or Texan then life would be so much easier for comedians. . .

MirCat on August 28, 2009 at 8:23 AM

I once read that Jay Leno’s wife asked him to leave her out of his act. Lo and behold, he does no jokes about her. I guess some comedians have, uh, what’s it called? Oh yeah, class.

I’ll buy this comedienne’s schtick about being a victim when white comedians are allowed to get on stage and use racial stereotypes to make fun of the black and Latino people they have in their lives.

Kafir on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Defamation and slander is still defamation and slander when done by a comedian on stage, especially when the alleged victim is a private person and not someone seeking public attention, like a politician or entertainer.

Not really. A comedian on stage is telling jokes, which are not to be taken seriously. This is going to get tossed out.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

What, she isn’t talented enough to come up with different names and specifics? She’s not a comedian she’s a gossip who needs a bigger audience.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2009 at 8:28 AM

If this lawsuit is successful…there won’t be a Jewish comedian on the circuit…that’s how they make their living, making fun of their family…now take my wife…please…

right2bright on August 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM

How about the joke where a half-black presidential candidate calls his grandmother, who raised him, essentially a racist. “typical white person.”

rbj on August 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM

This is going to get tossed out.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I actually hope the judge finds her guilty and sentences her to a cream pie tossed by her MIL.

Shy Guy on August 28, 2009 at 8:33 AM

This sounds dumb but I kinda see what the in-laws are talking about. If she’s using their names and the places where they work–then I’d be pissed about that too. If this shiksa is taking it to that level, then I agree with the mother in-law. Just drop them from the act.

Unfunny, half-negro, half-swedish, jew!
(It’s just a joke…..I kid I kid).

EMR on August 28, 2009 at 8:34 AM

Not really. A comedian on stage is telling jokes, which are not to be taken seriously. This is going to get tossed out.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Not necessarily. If you make a joke-joke like Leno Clinton jokes, the audience understands it’s bogus.

When you state a “fact” and then “joke” about it, people do take it as a fact. The case could be won or settled.

Aristotle on August 28, 2009 at 8:35 AM

Making fun of your family is low and crass. However, when you actually name them and provide their address, that’s beyond the pale.
.
Why couldn’t she make up some make believe brother in law or sister in law that don’t exist. She could even use the characteristics of her current family but just not refer to them directly.
.
She is committing a big injustice against her own family and her husband should gently let her know that she should modify her act not to hurt the feelings of his family and sour their relationship with them.

FactsofLife on August 28, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Not really. A comedian on stage is telling jokes, which are not to be taken seriously. This is going to get tossed out.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

By your measure, Michael Richardson should have had no fallout from his jokes.

ICBM on August 28, 2009 at 8:37 AM

No Obamateurism for today — Obama’s on vacation, which means a dearth of material

I Beg To Differ.

I offer you the Obama statement on the death of Senator Kennedy…

Do the old Clintonian thing and count the I’s and Me’s.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
___________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release August 26, 2009

Statement from President Obama:

Michelle and I were heartbroken to learn this morning of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ted Kennedy.

For five decades, virtually every major piece of legislation to advance the civil rights, health and economic well being of the American people bore his name and resulted from his efforts.

I valued his wise counsel in the Senate, where, regardless of the swirl of events, he always had time for a new colleague. I cherished his confidence and momentous support in my race for the Presidency (Obama is President? Who knew!). And even as he waged a valiant struggle with a mortal illness, I’ve profited as President from his encouragement and wisdom.

An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.

And the Kennedy family has lost their patriarch, a tower of strength and support through good times and bad.

Our hearts and prayers go out to them today–to his wonderful wife, Vicki, his children Ted Jr., Patrick and Kara, his grandchildren and his extended family.

gridlock2 on August 28, 2009 at 8:38 AM

gridlock2 on August 28, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Don’t you know, it’s all about The O.

rbj on August 28, 2009 at 8:43 AM

By your measure, Michael Richardson should have had no fallout from his jokes.

ICBM on August 28, 2009 at 8:37 AM

Legally, that’s exactly right. And exactly what happened to Michael Richards.

I didn’t say she was a good comic, or that the jokes were well advised. I said they’re not defamatory or slanderous and that the court isn’t going to do anything to her for telling them.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Shy Guy on August 28, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Go for it. I’ll point them to Obama. He has my money now.

Fletch54 on August 28, 2009 at 8:54 AM

You do have to wonder if this lady had hit it big and was raking in the money with her act, would her mother-in-lawn proud to be in the act? I don’t think Fang cared about being part of the act.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2009 at 9:02 AM

This qualified for the main board how?

Jeff from WI on August 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Seems like a publicity stunt to me, too. Who the heck is she? Never heard of her, and she has like two videos on youtube.

If it is real, I can’t say I blame the family for suing. She comes across as a bigot and naming her family and place of work is dangerous, and disgusting.

Bottom line, I know funny, and she *ain’t* funny.

sarainitaly on August 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM

BTW, the fact that the one is on vacation at this point is an Obamateurism.

vcferlita on August 28, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Jeff from WI on August 28, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Sssh, they may give you the morning shift.

Cindy Munford on August 28, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Thanksgiving this year is going to be awkward around the Croonquist house.

Seriously though, perhaps the greatest Obamateurism of all is the fact that the filthy liar is taking yet another week off at Camp David on top of his time on Martha’s Vineyard. it is almost as if the bastard is in hiding since they waited until now to release so much bad news about the economy, unemployment, etc.

Mr President, you can’t hide forever and we’ll be waiting for you when you decide to start doing your damned job again!

highhopes on August 28, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Naming her Mother & Sister in law is way too personal, that takes all the comedy away and reveals latent animosity. Call your mother she tells her husband, sheesh – Call her yourself and apologize because it is way overdo. What kind of Jewish conversion is that? Nice Jewish boys & Girls know their 10 commandments. Honor Thy Father & Mother.

saus on August 28, 2009 at 9:29 AM

I think she should be sued for being a Black, Swedish, Catholic, Jew. If she could just become a Protestant and citizen of Ireland, she would have the entire gamut of comedy covered.

Her walking into a bar would be a compete joke.

Hening on August 28, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Who is she? No one has ever heard of her before and now she’s made Hotair.

Oh, and from the video clip she’s just not funny.

roux on August 28, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Can we bring back the Rastus jokes ?!?!?!

“Rastus! Get away from that wheelbarrow! You KNOW you don’t no nuthin’ about machinery!

ExpressoBold on August 28, 2009 at 9:39 AM

The lawsuit is just more material for her act. Now she can tawk about her husband the High Powered Jew Lawyer and get a few laffs off that stereotype, too.

On second thought, no she can’t. If she tawks about the lawsuit in the act, then the “mother in law” in the act is in fact the actual real-world human, not the fictional character she claims it is. The moment she mentions the lawsuit in the act, she loses.

I’m getting verklempt now. Tawk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a tawpic: “Campbell Brown is neither soup nor parcel delivery.”

The Monster on August 28, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Typically, Campbell Brown is wrong again. Sundra Croonquist isn’t funny.

csdeven on August 28, 2009 at 9:43 AM

And yes, this is a publicity stunt.

csdeven on August 28, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Hack interviews hack.

hillbillyjim on August 28, 2009 at 9:46 AM

I have great admiration for my mother-in-law. I couldn’t imagine publicly insulting her week after week.

jgapinoy on August 28, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Take my lawsuit…please.

I mean, is that the most “racially charged” moment in the whole monologue? The pocketbook thing? Really?

Mom should chill. Everyone should chill.

Bleeds Blue on August 28, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Sue her for not being funny…that is a lawsuit you could win…

right2bright on August 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM

It’ll be topic for Kelly’s Court on Fox…drop the CNN video in the next hour and put up Megan Kelly!

mauioriginal on August 28, 2009 at 10:05 AM

I don’t blame the mother in law. I wouldn’t want some moron like this spouting off about my personal life on stage every night. The part at the end is telling, she talks about how awful it is for people to know she is being sued, well, yeah! It doesn’t dawn on her how embarrassing it is for the people she references in her act. To mention them by name tell people where they work and live is going too far too. It is all a waste because it ain’t even funny.

echosyst on August 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I want to know where is this woman’s husband? I’ll tell you that my husband would chew my ass up one side and down the other if I said such things about his mother.

mizflame98 on August 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM

They used to say puns were the lowest form of humor.

When I hear the racist crap, I’m out of there. Not because I give a rat’s ass about anybody’s feelings, but because that “comedian” has just admitted to the world that every punchline he will utter was written while he was still in the womb.

That’s pretty much the antithesis of wit.

logis on August 28, 2009 at 10:16 AM

That act was so unfunny I think it gave me cancer.

JohnGalt23 on August 28, 2009 at 10:16 AM

I wish Sunda’s kidneys would fail!

mizflame98 on August 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Sorry couldn’t get past the Campbell Brown “No bias, No Bull” commercial at the start. Sorry.

Caper29 on August 28, 2009 at 10:23 AM

This is what the media does. I recall many years ago there was some “Christian” singer dude who was going through a divorce. People Magazine had a spread on him. Turns out he was having a good time on the road, more akin to Motley Crue than Pat Boone. Of course, this included affairs with women. The article went on to stress how painful this ordeal was for him! Not a word about the poor, faithful woman back at home stuck with the kids while her philandering husband was out “rocking” for Jesus.

yubley on August 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

They way I see it – no harm, no foul here. Being a black woman, married to a Jewish family is fodder for comedy, as it is her life – and many comedians use thier life experience for comedy. Chris Rock, Chappelle, Cosby, Carlin, Rickels, etc.

The claim she is a “racist” is equal to Pelosi calling right wingers “racists” – of which many here scoff and laugh at. Its the mother in laws “opinion”, and this case should be thrown out asap.

I dont expect everyone to like her schtick – but being she is a NYker, primarily in NY while telling these jokes – the black/Jew/race/color thingy seemed to work well, based on the audiences’ reaction.

Odie1941 on August 28, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Obama needs to come off of vacation and hold a beer seltzer water summit with these two.

Barack Obama: Mending fences is his business.

Left Coast Right Mind on August 28, 2009 at 10:58 AM

Yeah,,, start making jokes about that CNN anchor,, call her a racist by name and identify her as “that crazy racist CNN anchor!” It would be a riot! See how that goes!

I’d agree to that–after all, turnabout is fair play. Calling other anchors racists and right-wing nutjobs is CNN’s trade, isn’t it?

Oh, and to the comedienne (for the lack of a better term), the fact that your Jewish mother is suing you…and has a son who is a lawyer….well, let’s just say that you don’t have to struggle too much to find material for your act. You were just stupid to use what you did.

CatsGodot on August 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM

This qualified for the main board how?

Give it time; I’m sure AP will work in Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and/or MeggieMac in some way.

CatsGodot on August 28, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Was the lead in claiming the segment was non-biased part of the joke?

aikidoka on August 28, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Typical liberal, It’s all about “her.”

tessa on August 28, 2009 at 11:32 AM

I thought it was funny as Hell.

Sue me!

SouthernGent on August 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

The mother in law has no sense of humor.

keep the change on August 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM

We don’t know if that’s true or not.

Maybe she’s just perturbed that those particular jokes about her are so spectacularly UN-funny… who knows what her reaction would be if the “comedian” were even mildly amusing?

As it is, this chick clearly went to the Wanda Sykes school.

jana on August 28, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Publicity stunt.

Fletch54 on August 28, 2009 at 8:09 AM

Bing. Never heard of her…until now.

Jaibones on August 28, 2009 at 11:44 AM

Hell hath no fury like a mother-in-law scorned.

rukiddingme on August 28, 2009 at 11:47 AM

At the very end she starts whining about how (paraphrased) nobody thinks about what’s being done to Sunda, her name is ruined because she came up in a Google search as involved in a suit for slander.

That’s gold, Jerry! GOLD!

jana on August 28, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Geeze, how dumb. You don’t mention names. Or if you do, it’s fake names, preferably humorous. “Godzilla” is good for a mother-in-law.

mojo on August 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I have to admit, I’m on the fence here.

I do find the jokes funny, but I don’t really think the mother in law is racist. I do think she has a point about using their real names.

Now, on the other hand Sunda makes the point that she just using them as characters in her act. If that’s REALLY the case, I don’t get why she’s so adamant about NOT changing their names. if that’s really all it takes to make this go away.

So… I’m gonna go with publicity stunt for the win, Alex.

eclark1849 on August 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Another case in the “News Looking More and More Like Children’s Television Gone Horribly Wrong” file.

Publicity stunt.

Pomme143 on August 28, 2009 at 12:53 PM

Let’s picture a white, Jewish commedienne with a black monther-in-law doing this routine.

Skipper50 on August 28, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Not really. A comedian on stage is telling jokes, which are not to be taken seriously. This is going to get tossed out.

Pablo on August 28, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Ever been the butt of a joke? Felt those burning ears? Angered yourself over the indignity of it?

You should, because Pablo in English means “bland, unappetizing, or with little content value.” Got it? HAHAHAHA!

From Huffpost:

Her husband, who is a lawyer, has his firm defending Sunda in court against his mother.

Sunda’s jokes have torn this family apart. Maybe she’ll learn to choose her material better next time — target some defenseless person like her husband.

unclesmrgol on August 28, 2009 at 12:57 PM

What is it with women comedians? They are just not funny, i’m sorry. That’s the real crime here. The lack of “funny”.

madne0 on August 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM

You know, this overuse of the courts doubtless rises from the fact that the man caught in the middle wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor….

Scribbler on August 28, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Let’s picture a white, Jewish commedienne with a black monther-in-law doing this routine.

Skipper50 on August 28, 2009 at 12:55 PM

And the mother-in-law is married to Eric Holder. I’m betting Holder would be smart enough not to engage his own law firm to defend his wife, for, as the old saying goes, you can always get another wife, but you can’t get another mother.

unclesmrgol on August 28, 2009 at 1:30 PM

So I’m guessing her Hymietown joke will be hold for awhile.

The Ugly American on August 28, 2009 at 4:32 PM

But Bush…

RalphyBoy on August 28, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Like some others here, she totally had my artistic sympathy until she named her inlaws, where they lived, and their workplaces. She could have generalized or changed the actual places and still kept it “Guess Whose Coming To Dinner” funny.As I recall Phyllis Diller used to make fun of her husband “Fang” but never named him outright that I remember.On the other hand there’s way too much politically correctness going on when it comes to comedy to the point of absurdity. One wonders how a Don Rickles could have ever gotten started in this thin-skinned world of whiny little weenies.

creatureofdust on August 28, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Stupid me. I’ve been doing stand up and trying to get noticed by being funnier. I should have had someone just sue me instead.

RossMcG on August 28, 2009 at 7:50 PM