Justin Bieber, sacrificing himself on the altar of comedy in an attempt to reform his image as a feral child raised by a kindly pack of Maxim back-issues, taped his official Comedy Central roast on Saturday. Was it the PR move he so transparently hoped it would be, immolating the world's most prominent Canadian-American pissbaby so he can rise again as a piss-man?
In the words of Bieber himself, "it was whatever."
After getting his "dick kicked in" by Kevin Hart, Natasha Leggero, Ludacris, Shaq, Martha Stewart, and Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, Bieber had his (self-serving and, I'm assuming, contractually agreed-upon) opportunity to show he's a big boy now.
"I'm looking forward to being someone to be proud of. Someone close to me once said how you rise from a fall is how you are truly defined as a man," he said.
But remember, Biebs' fall wasn't brought on by the comedians he begged to roast him. He literally asked for it, and the more brutal it is, the better he looks for taking a joke. His fall was self-engineered via a street-racing, house-egging petty crime spree.
It is telling of the state of Justin Bieber's reputation that one of Kevin Hart's jokes at this roast was, "Orlando Bloom took a swing at you. You have a perfume called 'Girlfriend.' You threw eggs at a house," which is just a list of True Things.
Other solid Bieber disses:
- Jeffrey Ross called Bieber "the King Joffrey of Pop"—an old joke, but a good one—and told him "Selena Gomez wanted to be here, but she's dating men now." He closed with, "Justin, you have such a huge career behind you."
- Natasha Leggero got in probably the best Bieber-Gomez zinger of the night when she said, "Selena Gomez had to fuck you. She is literally the least lucky Selena in show business."
- Chris D'Elia: "You literally are a guy who has it all, except respect, love, good parents, and a Grammy."
- Hannibal Buress: "I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy." (To recap: that's a lot.)
The story of this roast isn't whether the jokes were scathing—which, of course, they were—but whether the comedians agreed to enable Bieber's public graduation from Pull-Ups to Calvin Klein boxer-briefs out of genuine disdain or simply because the Bieb is a comedy gold mine.
Making the case for Team Genuine Disdain, here's Buress: "They say that you roast the ones you love, but I don't like you at all, man. I'm just here because it's a real good opportunity for me. Actually, you should thank me for participating in this extremely transparent attempt to be more likable in the public eye. And I hope it doesn't work."
The Bieber Roast airs March 30.