Why Justin Bieber is Suddenly Late Night Comedy's Biggest Hit

Teen idol has popped up on Letterman, 'SNL' and the 'Daily Show' in the past week

February 7, 2011 5:40 PM ET
Why Justin Bieber is Suddenly Late Night Comedy's Biggest Hit
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

In less than a week, Justin Bieber has delivered a Top 10 list on the Late Show with David Letterman, swapped places with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show and appeared in two skits on Saturday Night Live. He's promoting his new concert movie Never Say Never, but his roles in these skits don't have much to do with that.

They're also not exactly aimed at the singer's legion of young fans, though obviously the shows welcome their attention when the bits get around online. Mainly, Bieber is being used as some something of a sight gag.

Photos: Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne Team Up for Super Bowl Ad

To be clear, there's nothing mean spirited about how SNL, Letterman or Stewart have used Bieber in their skits. The humor is not at his expense. If anything,  these comedians are celebrating the singer's carefully cultivated image. Bieber is cute like a baby animal and unflappable like the coolest dude imaginable, and that combination makes him an ideal foil for neurotic comedians. Bieber's digital short with SNL's Andy Samberg (watch below) pushes this dynamic to the extreme, with Samberg playing an obsessed roommate who is the exact opposite -- hideous and high strung.

Photos: Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and more from the 2010 American Music Awards

This could only just be the beginning of Bieber's comedy onslaught: The singer is scheduled to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Conan and Lopez Tonight in the next two weeks.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »