Skip to main content

Leno Cleared for Jacko Jokes

A judge has ruled that Jay Leno can make jokes about Michael Jackson after all.

Reuters reported Friday that County Superior Court Judge Rodney Melville had ruled that Leno was from a gag order in the case even, though he is a potential witness.

Melville said the host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" is prohibited only from talking about issues pertaining to testimony he might give in the case.

Jackson's lawyers had sought to keep the gag on Leno. The comedian had been using surrogate comedians to weigh in on Jackson while he remained mum. Stand-in's had included Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey and Brad Garrett.

"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 humor and commentary about the Michael Jackson trial just as he does with the other news events of the day," said Jeffrey Zucker, president, NBC Universal Television Group.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.