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Kevin Hart, roast master for the March 14 taping (the roast airs March 30), didn’t waste any time delivering the first blows, introducing the event as “possibly the beginning and the end for Bieber.”
He went on to mock the fans known as Beliebers (“Justin has fans in middle school or staying 500 feet away from one”), Bieber’s driving skills (“He has the voice and the driving skills of Stevie Wonder“) and his cool cred (“Orlando Bloom took a swing at you; you have a perfume called Girlfriend; you threw eggs at a house — not gangsta.”)
It appears no one is safe from the sting. Hart derided Bieber manager Scooter Braun for discovering the singer while surfing the Internet in the middle of the night. “You need to be in jail, Scooter,” cracked Hart.
Fortunately for Team Bieber, they were not alone. All on the stage at Sony Studios in Culver City were fair game, including the roasters themselves.
And so, Hart himself was mocked by Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson, who chided, “Kevin, I loved you as black Annie.” Of emcee Jeff Ross, Davidson said, “You look like someone put Seth Rogen in the microwave. And of rapper Snoop Dogg and Ludacris, the SNL favorite mocked, “If I was 38, I’d be freaking out right now.”
Ludacris, a native of Atlanta, where Bieber first rose to fame, gave as good as he took. Claiming to have had “to babysit” Bieber in the early days, he laughed off the teen stars’s beef with One Direction, saying, “That’s like a fight between don’t-care and who-gives-a-shit,” adding, “You act so much like a pussy, Ellen [DeGeneres] tried to eat you.”
Comedians Nathasha Legerro and Chris D’Elia were up next and got plenty of laughs (the former also elicited a crowd-wide groan for a still-too-soon joke about the late Paul Walker), but it was the unexpected roasters — Martha Stewart and Shaquille O’Neal — who really wowed the audience. The self-deprecating Stewart joked about her time in prison; citing Bieber’s 60 million Twitter followers, she cracked, “The only place people will be following you in jail is into the shower.” Shaq also went for the jail jugular, joking: “Justin is worth $200 million, and in prison, that’s worth four packs of Kool.”
Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy was the surprise roaster and did not disappoint, describing Bieber as “a man — a full-grown man who works and loves and makes things with his hands,” adding, “He sings to 9-year-olds, and his hair is like a gay figure skater.”
Comedian Jeff Ross proved master roaster-worthy during his nearly 10-minute act taking aim at, well, everybody. Among the highlights:
“Martha Stewart, I want to f— you so bad, I bet your pubic hair is 50 shades of gray.”
“Shaq was the original 2 Chainz because that’s how he was brought into the country.”
“Shaq’s dick is so big, he uses it as a selfie stick.”
“Is that Kevin Hart or did Shaq take a shit?”
He saved his best for Bieber, calling him the “King Jofrey of pop.” Ross was relentless, adding, “Seth Rogen thinks you’re a conceited piece of shit, and he hangs out with James Franco.” And this extra-harsh nugget: “Selena Gomez wanted to be here, 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 Mexicans will do the disgusting jobs Americans just won’t do.”
Bieber, holding his smirk, took it all in stride, but when the topic veered around to Anne Frank, the smile was gone. Ross’ jab: “If Anne Frank had heard your music, she would’ve Uber’d to Auschwitz.” Ouch.
Ross ended his shtick with the perfect closer: “Justin, you have such a huge career behind you.”
Snoop Dogg and Hannibal Buress were last to take the podium and seemed to get the loudest screams — that’s probably due in part to the free-flowing alcohol at the laugh-a-thon, but Buress seemed to have won the respect of his fellow roasters and the audience alike for exposing Bill Cosby‘s past rape accusations. Said Snoop: “You’re the only Bill Cosby accuser making money off of it.”
The multiple mentions seemed to have only strengthened Buress’ comedic resolve as he took shots at his colleagues. For Ross: “You look like every ‘before’ picture ever” and “You only get on TV when you’re hurting people, you’re like a Ferguson police officer.”
Also in the crowd: Dave Chappelle, John Legend and wife Chrissy Teigen, John Mayer, Jaden Smith, Carly Rae Jepsen, Andy Dick, Justin Kirk, Kendall Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian, who motioned to cut when Ross joked that Khloe Kardashian was really a man.
Roast of Justin Bieber airs March 30 on Comedy Central.