hannibal buress comedy central roast justin bieber Hannibal Buress' joke cut from the Justin Bieber roast shows why the spectacle was a terrible ideaJustin Bieber was the target of a Comedy Central roast Monday (March 30), in which various comedians like Hannibal Buress and Natasha Leggero — and random people, like Martha Stewart and Shaquille O’Neal — took to the stage to make fun of the singer.

Sure, there were some zingers, but a lot of jokes fell flat, and perhaps it’s because Comedy Central made a terrible decision to hold a roast of Justin Bieber in the first place. Why? Because nobody cares about roasting Justin Bieber.

Roasts have historically been a staple of the New York Friars Club, an organization of comedians who would get together to make jokes at one comedian’s expense. They’ve been going on for over 60 years and while there have probably been many below-the-belt jokes made, the general attitude is one of camaraderie.

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This was not a Friars Club roast. Those are held for Friars Club members. This was a Comedy Central roast, a series that began in 2002 after the network had success airing several Friars Club roasts. Comedy Central’s roasts have also traditionally roasted comedians (though not always). But even the Comedy Central roasts have generally felt like they’ve picked a worthy target and the roasters are lining up to participate.

It did not feel that way with Bieber. It felt more like they were desperate for people to agree to jump up and down on a 21-year-old YouTube sensation turned pop star, and rightly so. Justin Bieber isn’t a comedian. He isn’t part of the brotherhood. And comedian Hannibal Buress — known for speaking his mind — is not pulling any punches in regards to exactly what was going on here: A publicity stunt.


Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."