Comedy Central’s roast of Justin Bieber was Monday evening’s No. 1-rated show in key male demographics. It pulled in 4.4 million viewers in its first telecast that evening, another 1.4 million on repeat, and generated 420,000 live streams — making it the most streamed roast ever.
While Justin Bieber’s public skewering is the network’s third highest watched roast — Jeff Foxworthy’s in 2005 was second, with Charlie Sheen’s 2011 throwdown holding the record as the most watched — when it came to social media, the singer’s stats reigned supreme.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) April 1, 2015
As expected with a superstar of Bieber’s wattage and social media penetration, the “Roast of Justin Bieber” set the interwebs ablaze. The TV special ranked No. 1 among all shows on Monday, March 30, triggering over 1.3 million mentions and more than 40 roast-related trending topics worldwide and in the U.S. throughout the telecast.
Social media content on the roast of Justin Bieber set off 6.9 billion impressions (nearly 7 billion) across social media platforms, measured by Velocity Echo Social Graph, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Almost 2 million users on Facebook commented and/or liked, and/or shared 3 million posts related to the Roast of Justin Bieber, with many using the hashtag #BieberRoast.
The stats keep on coming. There were 33 million total streams about Bieber Roast content across Comedy Central’s platforms, according to data from Adobe Site Catalyst, Youtube, Facebook, Whipclip, and Snapchat.
— Lia Haberman (@liahaberman) March 31, 2015
Citing Nielsen, Variety reports in the 18-49 demographic, “the Bieber roast ranked second to NBC‘s ‘The Voice’ (3.2 rating) among all primetime programs Monday. And in both men 18-49 (2.7) and men 18-34 (3.6), it was No. 1. Nearly 53 [per cent] of the 18-49 audience was male.”
The Kevin Hart-hosted roast featured a dais that included lifestyle maven Martha Stewart, former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, a cameo from Will Ferrell as Anchorman character Ron Burgundy, the rappers Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, comics Natasha Leggero, Hannibal Buress, Chris D’Elia, Pete Davidson, and the Roast Master General Jeff Ross.
As expected, Bieber — who sets a new record as the youngest person ever to be roasted by Comedy Central — was ripped over subjects ranging from his numerous legal woes, to his relationship with former girlfriend Selena Gomez, and headline-attracting incidents that accelerated from March 2013 to August 2014.
At the end of the roast, the Canadian took to the stage to fire back with the zingers of his own, before getting serious with what may be his final apology (there have been a few) for unruly behavior.
“There was really no preparing me for this life,” the Biebs said onstage. He added, “I was thrown into this at 12 years old and didn’t really know what I was getting into. “
The singer continued, “There’s been moments I’m really proud of, and moments I’m pretty disappointed in myself for.”
“The things that I’ve done really don’t really define who I am,” Bieber went on to say. “I am a kind-hearted person who loves people, and through it all I lost some of my best qualities. For that, I’m sorry.”
Bieber concluded by vowing that he would rise from his missteps, adding that he hoped to become someone who people could be proud of someday. The singer also thanked God for “never giving up” on him.
Despite inevitable carping from numerous critics, who appear to have decided 21-year-old is an appropriate age to write off a life and career, Bieber’s apology appeared heartfelt — and it was seen and heard by billions.
[Images via Kevin Mazur/WireImage]