Justin Bieber’s music is bad, he’s small and effeminate, he’s roundly despised by millions despite his worldwide legions of teenage fans, and he’s not helping his case by frequently getting arrested for various misdemeanor crimes.
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Ask any person on the street to come up with material for a Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber, and these are probably the topics they’d hew to. So it was depressingly predictable to see a dais of professional comedians (and drunk celebrities) hit the same notes for two hours last night.
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Sadder still was the obvious pageantry on display. At the end of the night, having largely shrugged off flimsy insults for two hours, Bieber took to the podium and delivered a stilted, scripted apology for his misdeeds, walking off stage to a standing ovation.
The entire event felt like a show trial, but one where the suspect was guaranteed to be acquitted.This isn’t to say there wasn’t the occasional searing line. Saturday Night Live‘s Pete Davidson took aim at Bieber’s deadbeat father, saying, “I lost my dad on 9/11, and I always regretted growing up without a dad, until I met your dad, Justin.
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Now I’m glad mine’s dead.” As harsh as that line was, the ostensible purpose of the Comedy Central Roast is to give comedians the chance to work out their nastiest material—the Friars Club events they evolved from were all about finding the best way to sell the meanest jokes about the most untouchable subjects.