Is it possible? Is Justin Bieber, the once out-of-control, self-entitled celebrity teen, growing up, manning up and learning to laugh at himself?
After watching his Between Two Ferns interview today, with funny guy Zach Galifianakis, my hope has been restored.
"It's really exciting to talk to you right in the middle of your public meltdown," Galifianakis begins, and is met with perfect, awkward silence from the superstar.
"Here's the thing," Galifianakis tells him, "there hasn't been a time in the last six, seven years I haven't urinated in a bucket … but I don't film it and put it on Internets."
Bieber takes all the jabs – and even a spanking – in good humour: "I'm sorry, I've just never interviewed a seven-year-old before ...
"What was the last toy you got in a Happy Meal?"
There's certainly been no shortage of cringe-worthy moments from the Canadian superstar this year, from restaurant bucket-peeing and airport shirtlessness to spitting off a Toronto balcony. This very blog has covered many of the said meltdowns, and this very writer has called Biebs a national embarrassment. (I am still getting hate mail, Beliebers. You can stop. I hear you.)
So how very refreshing it is to see the Biebs himself taking a few pokes at his own expense.
Indeed, he went through a Rob-Fordian six month stint where it seemed every single news day brought a new, stupefying level of "ugggh." And we at The Hot Button had to make a call on all his stupid antics: Was bucket peeing worthy of a story? What about driving irresponsibly? Or airport shirtlessness? Ignorant Native American remarks? He said what about Anne Frank? The madness just wouldn't stop.
After falling off the "bad news" radar for quite some time, this video is the first glimpse that perhaps Bieber has finally had the long-overdue realization that the best way to address people laughing at you is to join in the laughter.
"They said she was into pop culture," he tells Galifianakis of his comments about Anne Frank. "I said I hope she would've been a Belieber."
The always on point Galifianakis very seriously asks for clarification: "Did you mean if the Nazis had not taken her, and she lived to be in her 80s, that she would've liked your music? Presumably due to loss of hearing?"
No, that's not it. "I want to be a time traveller," Bieber says with a straight face.
The Biebs even took to his Twitter account – which has often been a firsthand account of his off-the-rails behaviour – tweeting this afternoon, "In all honesty it might be the most important interview of this year."
If nothing else, the video is a smart move – and maybe speaks more to his team of people finally making a good PR move. It goes a long way, in my mind, to getting this Canadian boy back on the right track.
Is there hope for Justin redemption yet? Colour me a cautious Belieber.