Justin Bieber is “focused and ready” for his Comedy Central Roast, taping today (March 14) and airing on March 30. So says veteran roaster Jeff Ross, who adds, “This will be insane; If Biebs were any younger, this would qualify as child abuse.”
Indeed, if all goes according to plan, the 21-year-old singer is due to get a colossal verbal beating in a matter of hours — and it’s all at his own request. As Kent Alterman, Comedy Central president of content development and original programming tells The Hollywood Reporter: “Justin approached us. He said, ‘I’m turning 21 and I wanna be roasted.’ It shows great perspective and courage on his part.”
Comedy Central has roasted only a couple of musicians and never someone so young, but Alterman says Bieber was a no-brainer in that he’s “a huge iconic megastar … who’s grown up in the public.” He adds that a roast provides the opportunity to face your transgressions head on. “Once you’ve done a roast, you’re untouchable. A lot of that baggage can dissipate.”
As for what could potentially go wrong when the likes of Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart, Ludacris and Shaquille O’Neal gather to Bieber-bash? Alterman says his worst nightmare (other than technical issues) is that “someone storms off the stage,” but notes that Comedy Central, which has roasted Charlie Sheen, Joan Rivers, Donald Trump and James Franco in the past, has fine-tuned the “delicate balance between going for the jugular and having some compassion, respect and affection.”
To hear Ross tell it, the gloves are off. “I’ve spoken with all the comedians and we are all bringing firepower.”
This originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.