justin-bieber-roastOn Monday night, at the Super Bowl of all Comedy Roasts, Justin Bieber declared open season on his wildly notorious douchebaggary.  The excitement was palpable as a highlight reel of his debaucheries reminded us why he was so disliked: hitting 100 mph in a Lamborghini with a Disney starlet on his arm, egging houses, cursing ex-presidents, and pissing in public to name a few.  The show started with Justin being lowered down from the ceiling dressed as an angel, smiling broadly.  And the tone of the night was set as the chord snapped and he came crashing down onto the stage, his smile replaced by a frantic mix of fear and worry.  This ain’t gonna be fun for you, Biebs.  After his pretend fall from grace, the real pain started.

Kevin Hart put it perfectly when he announced that he and the dais of celebrities were going to “do what his parents should have long ago: whoop his ass.”  The Dias was comprised of random A list celebrities with very little personal connection to Justin, perhaps making the whole thing a bit meaner.  Martha Stewart was perhaps the most obscure, yet managed to hold her own as she gave her normal advice column demeanor a spin with tips on how to survive prison (including an anecdote about a homemade shank).  The rest included Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neil (because I guess Biebs likes basketball?), Beiber collaborate Ludacris, Rap Legend Snoop Dogg, and comedians Hannibal Burress, Natsha Leggero, Jeffrey Ross, Chris D’Ellia, and Pete Davidson.  Ron Burgundy even stopped by and, after tossing a lit cigarette Justin’s way, commended him on his shit-head behavior (“Justin beat up a twelve year old at a laser tag, ka-BOOM! )  Justin sat perched in the seat of honor with a nervous smile on his face as these B-listers unloaded on him.  And talk about an easy target.  It was like watching Floyd Mayweather box a kindergartner with two broken arms and a bad attitude.

He kept a stiff upper lip about it, which was commendable.  He took some pot shots back, which was admirable.  But the weirdest part of the night came when he apologized for being a huge prick, which was, surprisingly, respectable.  It was bizarre, tonally inconsistent, and far from funny.  But the weird thing was, it worked.  At least for me.  I actually felt for the little douchebag.  If you pluck any 12 year old Canadian from a broken home and fill his childhood with money, women, and the omnipresent lens of the tabloids, then of course he is going to come out the other end messed up.  He basically said he was “excited for the challenge” to prove that he is not the asshole his behavior dictates.  Call me an optimist (which nobody has ever done) but I’d like to see him make good on that promise.   That night he walked away with a little respect.  Granted, I docked him a few when I found out he wasn’t joking about flying back to Vegas with a private jet full of models, but he still had more than when the evening started (zero).