Justin Bieber may have ended his Comedy Central Roast, which taped Saturday night at Sony Studios in Los Angeles, on a humble note, but that didn’t stop him from getting skewered by friends and comedians at the annual event.
As is tradition at the roasts, Bieber got the chance for a final say after the roasters were done ripping into him. While he got the chance to land a few hits (“What do you get when you give a teenager $200 million? A bunch of has-beens calling you a lesbian for two hours” was one choice joke), the pop star ended the night by apologizing for his much-publicized mistakes.
“There was really no preparing me for this life,” he explained onstage. “I was thrown into this at 12 years old, and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. There’s been moments I’m really proud of and a lot of moments I look back and I’m pretty disappointed with myself for. But the things that I’ve done really don’t define who I am. I’m a kind-hearted person who loves people and, through it all, lost some of my best qualities. For that, I’m sorry. But what I can say is that I’m looking forward to being someone you can look at and be proud of.”
Roastmaster Kevin Hart didn’t hold back against Bieber, who was celebrating his 21st birthday on Saturday, despite being a friend of his. He started the night on a vicious note, saying, “Tonight we are gonna do what parents and the legal system should have done a long time ago — give the boy an ass-whuppin he deserves.”
Hart then led a rousing church choir, which asked the audience to “Belieb,” referring to Bieber’s rabid fanbase that have been dubbed Beliebers.
Roasters Hannibal Buress, Chris D’Elia, Snoop Dogg, Shaquille O’Neal, Pete Davidson, Natasha Leggero, Ludacris, Jeff Ross and Martha Stewart each got the chance to skewer Bieber, as well as their fellow roasters. The person who might have fielded the worst insults who wasn’t even in the room? Bill Cosby.
Buress played a major part in the resurfacing of Cosby’s decades-old sexual assault allegations, as the comedian made reference to them in a standup act that was recorded by a fan and posted online, so it’s not surprising his presence at the roast would lead to many jokes about Cosby.
“You’re the only Bill Cosby accuser making money off of it,” Dogg said to Buress.
Even Buress addressed the controversy, telling Bieber, “I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy.”
Another common subject was Paul Walker, the “Fast & Furious” franchise star who died last year in a car accident. Ludacris starred with Walker in the racing series, the seventh installment coming out in April.
“Just this past year, Justin got arrested for drag racing,” said “Saturday Night Live” star Davidson. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t with Paul Walker.”
Many of the Walker jokes didn’t land, eliciting groans instead of laughs, and after the show backstage, Bieber said he “didn’t particularly like the Paul Walker jokes.”
There were several surprises, including an appearance by Bieber’s monkey that he abandoned in a German zoo, as well as an unexpected appearance by Ron Burgundy, the character Will Ferrell plays in the “Anchorman” movies. While most slammed Bieber’s past mistakes, Ferrell’s Burgundy commended him, joking: “I always encouraged people to stay classy. And what’s more classy than hanging out with Floyd Mayweather?”
Stewart, who fielded jokes for serving jailtime a few years ago, even taught Bieber how to make a prison shank out of a comb and a pack of gum, and earned a standing ovation for her set.
The antics started long before the show did. On the white carpet before the event, roast veteran Ross arrived dressed as the pope with two scantily clad nuns. The pope get-up, however, did not make it to the stage.
“I’m the popemaster general,” he said. “We’re here to absolve Justin for his sins.”
Leggero, who skewered James Franco at last year’s Comedy Central Roast, carried a tiny dog in a curly wig with her on the carpet. Though she didn’t hold back when it was time to roast, she said she felt bad for the young singer.
“Dude, if I would have gotten a commercial agent at 21, I would have been, like, shooting heroine in a dumpster,” she said. “I mean, I don’t know how you handle all that success.”
Bieber didn’t seem too fazed by all the slams, though. Instead of attending the after-party, the star hopped right on a plane to Vegas to celebrate his birthday.
“The Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber” airs on March 30.