Sunda Croonquist was born in Paterson, New Jersey to an African-American mother and Swedish father. Inspired by her father's career as a musician and having a stage/pageant mother, Croonquist wanted to be an entertainer at a very young age.
With a BA in Criminal Justice, Croonquist also worked as a probation and parole review officer in Newark, New Jersey. She then worked as a detective while taking acting classes and eventually landed roles in local plays and films.
At a chance encounter in New York City, Croonquist was joking around at a party when she met Jackie Mason, who told her to seriously consider doing stand-up comedy and with her husband's encouragement, took a comedy class and had her first paid gig within weeks. Her first performance was at a club called Don't Tell Mama.
Croonquist has produced her own comedy shows including: Femmes Fatales one of the longest running female comedy showcases for New York's Toyota Comedy Festival for eight years. She is also the Chairperson for the Annual "Laugh Off", an event that brings awareness to Gilda's Club in Northern New Jersey. This is a cancer support group that was formed by comedian Gilda Radner.
Croonquist gained attention in the media in August 2009 when her mother-in-law, Ruth Zafrin, filed a lawsuit against her in U.S. District Court for allegedly spreading false, defamatory and racist lies about Zafrin's family in her stand-up act. Croonquist said she didn't even know she was being taken to court until she was asked, at an audition, to explain the lawsuit. The suit was later tossed out. Per Croonquist's live interview on NBC's Today on May 9, 2010, she was initially sued by her sister-in-law who then asked her mother, Ruth, to join the lawsuit.
Croonquist has been married since 1994 and has two children who were raised Jewish. Before she met her husband, Croonquist converted to Judaism, which he and his mother, her mother-in-law, adhere to.
- Manuel-Logan, Ruth (August 27, 2009). "Judge Throws Out Mother-in-Law's Suit Against Comedienne". Examiner.com. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
- "No joke: Comic sued over mother-in-law gibes". Today.com. With contribution by The Associated Press. August 27, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- "Comedian Sunda Croonquist sued by her mother-in-law for being the punchline one too many times". New York Daily News. Associated Press. August 25, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2020.