Justin Bieber haters can rest easy. The mother of all roasts has not been tainted by woolly compassion.
It seems the 20-year-old singer’s recent, seemingly heartfelt video — in which he basically apologized for what he called his “arrogant” and conceited” past behavior, and earned tons of support from his fans — will have absolutely no bearing on Bieber’s roast, at least as far as Roastmaster Jeff Ross is concerned.
TMZ grabbed a few sound bites from the 49-year-old comic as he flew in to Los Angeles’ LAX airport on Tuesday after roasting Terry Bradshaw at the Super Bowl in Arizona.
Asked if there was anything that would be considered off-limits to ask the Canadian singer, Ross replied, “Of course not! It’s a roast.”
Ross also pooh-poohed the idea that Bieber might ask him to keep certain uncomfortable subjects off the roast table.
“He’s a man, he’s not going to make any requests to not roast him,” Jeff replied, seemingly incredulous at the very suggestion.
When the topic of the Biebs’ much-talked about apology video came up, he was asked if it would make any difference to how the roast might go. Ross’ answer was firm.
“No! It’s going to be the best roast ever,” he insisted.
Last month, radio and TV host Ryan Seacrest’s website first announced the Justin Bieber Roast was in motion. A March 7 taping date in Los Angeles was set.
One day later, the singer tweeted, “Finally after all that hard work for my 21st birthday it’s happening. Thanks @RyanSeacrest & @ComedyCentral for the announcement. Let’s do it,” also noting that roast was to mark his 21st birthday.
“For years I have wanted Comedy Central to roast me. They said only if I provided them w/ more material so for a year now I have worked hard,”‘ Justin joked, echoing an earlier quip by a Comedy Central honcho.
“We’re thrilled he listened,” the network told Seacrest.
TMZ previously cited sources saying that Bieber sees his impending public skewering as a kind of “therapy”, and a way of publicly declaring that he messed up but has now figured it out and made changes to do better.
Sources told the site: “Justin definitely seems to have changed over the last four months. He’s polite again, respectful and extremely generous.”
Ross seemingly referred to this therapy idea last month when he spoke to the New York Daily News.
“It can’t help but be cathartic,” he said. “A little tough love seems to be exactly what he’s looking for. I think he’s brave to do it,”
He continued. “I’m excited. He’s a brave boy.”
If that sounds like the Roastmaster and his unnamed wingmen are planning to plunder the “material” that Bieber jokingly tweeted he worked on providing Comedy Central with, that’s because they definitely will be.
Currently, the Internet is heaving with lists of Bieber-isms roasters could choose from: That egging, Bieber’s love life, arrests, the monkey saga, Anne Frank, and much more.
Of his preparations for Bieber’s highly anticipated takedown, Ross light-heartedly told The News he has already put up posters of the singer around his house.
“I feel like I have to listen to his music. Now it’s a day later and the reality is setting in,” the roastmaster said.
Fast forward to Bieber’s raw video, which he posted to his social media accounts. It came hours after the singer’s “nervous” appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, in which he admitted he had “done some things that might not have been the greatest.”
He also said he was “afraid of what people are thinking about” him, adding “I’m not who I pretended to be,” then stated he now wanted to make “the best impression on people.”
Bieber fans showed support for their idol in the hashtag “WeDontJudgeYouJustin,” and it quickly trended on Twitter. Elsewhere, reaction is divided. The video may well be used by the roast comedians, who certainly have plenty of material at their disposal.
But one thing is in no doubt: there will be no mercy for Bieber from Roastmaster Ross next month.
[Images via Getty Images/Instagram]