LATEST: Comedian Jay Leno is allowed to make jokes about Michael Jackson, the judge in the pop star's child molestation case ruled yesterday (11MAR05).

Leno's lawyers had filed a motion to dismiss or clarify a gag order placed on The Tonight Show host, who was subpoenaed as a potential witness.

They argued such a restraint couldn't possibly have been meant to keep someone in Leno's line of profession from talking about trial events which didn't directly involve him.

JEFF ZUCKER, president of NBC UNIVERSAL TELEVISION GROUP, says, "We are happy the judge confirmed that the gag order in this case does not prevent Jay Leno from continuing to entertain the country with humour and commentary about the Michael Jackson trial, just as he does with the other news events of the day."

Despite the gag order, Leno continued to poke fun at BAD singer Jackson on his show on Thursday night (10MAR05), when he made an entrance reminiscent of Jackson's late arrival to court that morning. Leno started his show by arriving in a limousine, dressed in pyjama pants.

Though he hasn't uttered a word about Jackson himself, the comedian has been calling on guest comics, like Brad Garrett and Roseanne Barr, to stand-in as "surrogate" Jackson joke-tellers.

12/03/2005 02:56