The stars were out in full force for Comedy Central’s roast of Justin Bieber, which aired last night. While many of the jokes got pretty harsh, the panelists mostly stuck to topics that seemed Bieber-approved. But one joke, delivered by comedian and Bill Cosby career destroyer Hannibal Buress, was so painfully true that it was cut from the broadcast.
Hannibal’s jokes that made the broadcast were by no means flattering, resembling straight-up insults more than jokes. “Justin Bieber — they say roast the ones you love, but I don’t like you at all,” Buress said. “I’m just here because this is a really good opportunity for me.”
“I don’t like your music man, I’m not a big fan of it,” Buress continued. “I think it’s bad, I think it’s bad, man — I don’t like it. I hate your music, man. I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy.”
But it was this joke Buress posted on Twitter late last night after the roast aired that really cuts to the core of everything wrong with the Bieber roast.
— Hannibal Buress (@hannibalburess) March 31, 2015
“Actually, you should thank me for participating in this extremely transparent attempt to be more likable in the public eye,” Buress said. “And I hope it doesn’t work.”
The Friars Club, founded in 1904, stuck to the motto “We only roast the ones we love.” While Comedy Central aired the Friars roasts from 1998-2002, they soon parted ways with the club, establishing their own brand of Comedy Central roasts in 2002. So instead of legendary comedians like Groucho Marx and Johnny Carson trading barbs, Comedy Central has roasted Pamela Anderson, Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen.
Buress’s joke confirms what many think and what Bieber is hoping no one notices: the roast is a very obvious ploy by a pop star to appear humble and accessible when his previous actions have suggested anything but.