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Roasting Bieber

On March 30th, Comedy Central will air the roast of Justin Bieber, which occurred last weekend.  Kevin Hart served as roast master with a dais including Ludacris, Jeff Ross, Martha Stewart, Hannibal Buress, Chris D’Elia, Natasha Leggero, Shaquille O’Neal, Snoop Dogg, and more.  The bright spot of the whole night will likely be Jeff Ross, who is already taking heat over a joke about the late Paul Walker.  Bieber said he didn’t like the joke, so I plan on finding it the funniest thing in the world.  Or at least I would, if I was watching.

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This will be the first roast I’ve skipped since finding out they existed.  It was always my understanding that a roast should be an honor to the individual on the receiving end of the sharp jokes and insult comedy.  The jokes usually end with honest praise and thanks for their work, friendship, and so on.  Comedy Central has roasted some fantastic people in the past, people who have contributed much to their fields and who are beloved by their fans.  How Bieber fits into this is a mystery to me.

Bieber has smashed into everything under the sun with his car, egged homes, pissed in public, and acted like a total asshole.  He’s been charges with reckless driving, vandalism, DUI and assault.  He had drugs found on his tour bus.  A timeline can be found here.  He’s behaved like a punk child, literally pissing away his former cute singing kid next door image.  I don’t care what excuses he or anyone can come up with, there’s no reason for anyone to have as much legal issues at his age.  There’s no reason to behave like an animal.  The guy is an idiot.

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I fail to see how Justin Bieber is someone worth roasting.  Yes, I know people complained about Larry The Cable Guy, but he and the rest of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour were on fire at the time, and still are for a lot of people.  James Franco was called “just a stoner,” but he’s not only acted in, but had a hand in creating some amazing movies.  Bieber invites all sorts of criticism with his piss poor behavior.  But does that make him worthy of a roast?  It feels like a waste of time and effort.  Out of all the people who were in attendance at the event, how many of them do you think actually give a damn about this kid?  Chris D’Elia said it best:  “Why are you here?  This is a terrible idea.”

This entire thing feels like a carefully crafted way to get people to like Justin again.  At the end of the roast, he apologized for his godawful behavior.  Sitting through the roast was the perfect way to show people that he is capable of laughing at himself and is a well-rounded, humorous individual.  Allowing us to make fun of him right to his face was a way to show character and personal growth.  I don’t know if anyone will fall for it or not, but he was almost immediately invited to be a guest on Ellen afterwards to discuss the roast and make people uncomfortable by flirting with Madonna.

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While on Ellen, he said “I’m sorry for the stuff that I’ve done.  I’m not searching for people’s approval but I just want people to know that that’s not me and I was doing stuff that wasn’t me. A lot of times we pretend so that we can fit in and then we end up looking like a … and that was kind of me.  I really just didn’t know how to handle it. It went to my head and I had to let people pull me down for me to see the truth and to see how much of a jerk I was being. Now I just want people to know that this is me. I’m just a genuine person who has fun. I just wasn’t trying to be a jerk.”

It has already begun.  I feel as if this roast was simply a marketing ploy, a PR event held in an unconventional way.  It took the roast, one of my favorite comedic mediums, and cheapened it into something I want no part of.  It wasted the time of some great comedians and it will waste even more time once it airs on television.  Hell, I’ve wasted more time on it than I should have writing this over the last ten minutes.  Hopefully this was a one off occurrence and we quickly return to roasting those who are actually worth a damn.

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About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on March 19, 2015, in TV/Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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