Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jewish Black Comedian Victorious in Mother-in-Law Suit

Last October we profiled Jewish Black comedian Sunda Croonquist, who was
performing at a fund raiser for Gilda's Club in Hackensack.  

She was in the news because her Jewish mother-in-law sued her for defamation.  In that October post, we wrote:
Croonquist gained national attention in August when her mother-in-law filed a lawsuit accusing her of defaming her and her family, using false and racist lies in her routine on television and in nightclubs.
Croonquist, who keeps a kosher home, is half-black, half-Swedish, and was raised Roman Catholic before marrying into a Jewish family. She sees nothing wrong in using her family as source material.
Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that a federal judge has thrown the case out of court.

Writing for the AP, John Rogers said:
In a 21-page ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper of New Jersey concluded that the examples they cited - including one in which Croonquist says her sister-in-law's voice sounds like a cat in heat - fell under the category of protected speech.

Many of the jokes, Cooper said, were clearly statements of opinion and not fact and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The cat-in-heat joke, the judge said, quoting from a previous court decision, was "colorful, figurative rhetoric that reasonable minds would not take to be factual."
Croonquist hasn't stopped telling her family stories.  For our Los Angeles readers, she will be appearing at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood this Saturday night.  Here's another glimpse of her shtick.