Justin Bieber’s Comedy Central Roast touched down at Sony Pictures Studio on Saturday, on an insanely hot day in Los Angeles after weeks of hype worthy of a Weinstein Oscar campaign.
Although the no doubt tamer edit doesn’t air until March 30, the verdict from most quarters is that the superstar’s roast was a hardcore and hilarious throwdown. Will Ferrell crashing it midway as thick-skinned anchorman Ron Burgundy playing no small part.
Justin was given a standing ovation by the crowd at the end of the nearly five-hour taping, during which the 21-year-old was slammed with a tide of scorchers attacking his manhood, music, and past, wild behavior. The Canadian took all of it like a champ, before firing off a few zingers at his roasters in his rebuttal, then delivering a poignant apology.
“Damn, you guys were brutal,” the Biebs said at the podium. “This was supposed to be a birthday present. When people ask me what I got for my 21st birthday, I’ll tell them I got my d*** kicked in. I should have known.”
“I turned a lot of people off the past few years,” Justin admitted, after referring to missteps such as smoking weed on a private jet and converting a kitchen bucket into a urinal. “But I know I can still turn out good music and turn everything all around.”
“You have my word I will not end up broken, pathetic, bitter or sitting on somebody else’s roast. I’m at a moment of change. This is a new day,” he added, the Los Angeles Times reports.
He went on to say, “There’s really no preparing me for this life; I got thrown into this at 12 years old and didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. There’s moments I’ve been really proud of, and a lot of moments I look back and I’m pretty disappointed with myself for.”
The singer added, “But the things that I’ve done don’t really define who I am. I’m a kind-hearted person who loves people and through it all, I 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 all look at and be proud of [or “smile at, see some of yourself in.”] Someone close to me once said, how you rise from a fall is how you are truly defined as a man.”
“I’m excited for that challenge. And I want to say thank you for taking this journey with me, and I’m excited to see what’s next,” he said, Mashable reports.
[Other reports note different text in key places: “I am looking forward to being someone you can all be proud of… I’m excited for that challenge. And I want to say thank you for taking this journey with me.]
The Biebs also thanked God for “not giving up” on him.
Sources at the event said that at the end of his apology he speech, the singer revealed he “loved and lost” someone but “screwed up.” A monkey was then brought out in a wrap to a seemingly extraordinary night.
In a press conference that followed his skewering, Justin explained why he apologized.
“I felt like this was a moment for me to really show people where I am in my life right now and that’s where I’m at,” he said.
He added, “I’m at a moment of change. Like I said before, I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not proud of, but this is a new day and we’re turning a new leaf here.”
Justin’s contrition capped a night of blistering put-downs by an eclectic mix of roasters.
These were the Roast Master General Jeffrey, lifestyle goddess Martha Stewart, rappers Snoop Dogg and Ludacris, former NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, Roast Master host Kevin Hart, and comics Natasha Leggero, Chris D’Elia, Hannibal Buress, and Pete Davidson.
Starry guests at the Comedy Central taping included John Mayer, Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend, Dave Chappelle, Ashley Benson, Gloria Allred, Carly Rae Jepsen, Scooter Braun and his wife Yael, Madison Beer, NBA player Chris Paul and Jada Crawley, Justin Kirk, and Jaden Smith.
— shirleyhalperin (@shirleyhalperin) March 15, 2015
At one point, observers noted Justin’s unhappy facial expression after Leggero told a joke about abortion involving his mother Pattie Mallette, who was in the audience as well as the singer’s grandparents. In the press room, Justin reportedly told journalists he didn’t like the jokes about [the late] Paul Walker, and didn’t really think anything about insults to him that also involved his former girlfriend, Selena Gomez.
“Everybody was going balls to the wall,” he said of the Gomez gags when asked, as seen on video footage. “There was no holding back. So, I mean, it was whatever.”
The singer’s model pal Kendall Jenner and older sister Kourtney Kardashian were spotted looking irritated over the numerous gender change quips about their father Bruce Jenner, and Ross’ jab at Khloe Kardashian in which he called her a man.
Mostly, however, the stings came for Bieber. At the beginning of the roast, Hart vowed to the audience, “Tonight, we are gonna do what parents and the legal system should have done a long time — give the boy an a**-whuppin’ he deserves.”
As for Justin, he went on to party hearty at the Omnia Nightclub in Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, in what might be the final lap of his 21st birthday celebrations. In closing, perhaps only the churlish would deny Bieber faced his reckoning like a man.
Tonight was one of the best nights ever. Thank you to everyone involved. Thank you
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 15, 2015
A selection of the jokes that went down at the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber” can be read after the jump.
“You really have it all. Well, except for respect, love, friends, good parents and a Grammy.” – D’Elia.
“You acted so much like a p**** on the Ellen [DeGeneres] show, she tried to eat you.” – Ludacris.
“Justin wants to be black so bad he’s actually seen Kevin Hart’s movies in theaters.” – Ludacris
“The Brazilian prostitute he was caught with said he was well-endowed; that prostitute would know, because he was, too.” — Ludacris.
“My suggestion for your next album Justin Bieber? Straight Outta Talent.” – Snoop.
“You bought a monkey! I mean, that monkey was more embarrassed than the one that started the AIDS epidemic.” – Snoop.
“Sixty million Twitter followers? The only place people will be following you in jail is into the shower.” – Stewart.
“Let’s get to the reason I’m here tonight, to give Justin Bieber tips for when he ends up in prison.” – Stewart.
“Selena Gomez would been here tonight, but she’s dating men now… Is it true you dumped her because she grew a mustache before you? Selena Gomez had sex with [you]… proving once again that Mexicans will do the disgusting jobs Americans just won’t do.” — Ross
“Justin, you have such a huge career. Behind you” – Ross
“Seth Rogen thinks you’re a conceited piece of s***, and he hangs out with James Franco.” – Ross.
“I know you’ll never end up like Kurt Cobain or Amy Winehouse – respected.” – Ross
“The name Bieber has become so offensive, the Washington Redskins think you should change it.” – Ross
“Justin, I don’t like your music. I think it’s bad, man. I hate your music. I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy.” – Buress.
“Kevin Hart is so short, he calls Lil Wayne, Wayne.” – Bieber
“I’m new to comedy, but here’s a joke: What do you get when you give a teenager 200 million dollars? A bunch of has-beens calling you a lesbian for two hours.” – Biebs.
“Martha Stewart: Thanks for coming. I’ll bet that’s something you don’t’ do much of anymore.” – Bieber.
“This kid has spunk, moxy and probably a few other STDs…I’ve always encouraged people to stay classy. And what’s more classy than hanging out with [boxer] Floyd Maymeather?” Burgundy.
“Justin Bieber is a full-grown man who works and loves and makes things with his hands. He sings to 9-year-olds and his hair is like a gay figure skater.” – Burgundy.
“My castmate on SNL, Kate McKinnon, does a perfect impression of Justin. Right down to the c***.” — Pete Davidson.
“There’s even a wax figure of Justin in Madame Tussauds in London. I’ve seen it, he’s face down in a wax Usher’s lap.”
“It’s no secret that Justin wants to be black. He wants to be black so bad he went out and got sickle-cell anemia.”- Hart.
“Justin was born to a single teenage mom. No wonder he’s got moves, he was in the womb dodging a coat hanger.” Leggero.
[Images via Getty Images/AP/Kevin Mazur]