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Bieber beware: The list of Comedy Central roasters is out, and it’s weird (Update)

kevin hart named roast master justin bieber comedy central
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Comedy Central has released the list of celebrities who will be roasting Justin Bieber when he sits in the hot seat later this month, and it’s a doozy. The cast of Bieber blasphemers includes a variety of folks from all areas of the entertainment biz armed with very unique styles. For “un-beliebers,” just thinking about how they will rip the controversial pop star/dancer/shirtless wonder makes one salivate.

The line-up includes: rappers Snoop Dogg and Ludacris, athlete Shaquille O’Neal, and TV personality and deadpan humor expert Martha Stewart (mocking Bieber — it’s a good thing). More common attendees with particular comedian credentials will be Jeffrey Ross (who’s on every roasting panel), along with Hannibal Buress, Chris D’Elia, and Natasha Leggero. Ross in particular should have a field day here.

That won’t be all – expect Comedy Central to throw in a surprise roaster (or two) and some special guests. If the freshly-turned 21-year-old has his way, funnyman Seth Rogen might be one of those people – the “Biebs,” as he’s affectionately known, is reportedly one step short of begging the actor to join the group. (It wouldn’t be the first time for Rogen – he was Roast Master at James Franco’s roast.)

As previously confirmed, comedian Kevin Hart has been tapped to serve as Roast Master for the affair. Reportedly, Hart is a good friend of Bieber’s. And that’s not uncommon of roasts – typically, the roasting panel is made up of comedians (including pro roaster Ross) and friends of the roastee, plus a few Hollywood names du jour: how else can we explain the awful appearance of the Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” at Donald Trump’s roast?

“They say only a good friend would verbally eviscerate another good friend for all his vulnerabilities,” says Kent Alterman, President, Content Development and Original Programming, Comedy Central.

“I don’t normally do roasts,” comments Hart, “but I had to step out for my guy Biebs…It’s his big 21. It’s about to be operation roast everyone’s ass.”

Many roast-worthy celebrities have sat in the hot seat for Comedy Central’s always hilarious – often line-crossing – roasts. From Donald Trump to Roseanne Barr and Flava flav. But perhaps none has stirred up such anticipation as Bieber.

Related: Netflix comes to Cuba, but who will be watching?

The idea is to poke some no-holds-barred fun at the celebrity who’s chosen to sit back and take the insults. (Or, translation, who’s publicist has told him he should do it.) In many cases, the roast has happened long after the subject’s heyday – David Hasselhoff was roasted in 2010, long past his Baywatch days, and decades past Knight Rider. But “The Biebs,” as he’s affectionately known, is at the peak of his controversy. His recent antics have led many to call him everything from disrespectful to a spoiled brat. From allegedly throwing eggs at a house, to urinating in a bucket in a restaurant kitchen, he hasn’t exactly had the best reputation. Which may explain why he’ll be taking the hot seat.

The roasts are great exposure for the roasters, who get to show off their comedic prowess. But they’re also fantastic, often ironically positive, publicity for the roastee. It’s a chance to show fans (er, Beliebers) and haters alike that you can laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously. Maybe, just maybe, he’s ready to grow up and wants to show the world. One can hope, right?

One person we’d love to see on the panel is Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon. She does a spot-on impression of Bieber. Hopefully she’ll be one of those “surprise” names.

The Roast (#BieberRoast) will be recorded at Sony Studios on March 14 and will premiere on Monday, March 30 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Updated 3/5/2015: This post was updated to include the announced cast list of Roasters for the upcoming event.

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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