Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosted the 45th annual CMA Awards for the fourth time on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. The country music superstars have become known for their effortless banter and comedic portrayal of events in the news. As the two hosts were announced for the first time on Wednesday night, the audience soon found that the object of this year’s comedy skit would be legendary “bad boy”, Hank Williams, Jr.
As Carrie began to welcome everyone, Brad interrupted with strumming his guitar and began to sing, “Are you ready for an awards show? Are you ready to party?” The entire time, Carrie frantically tapped his arm, begging him to stop. She told him he can not sing that song. Brad Paisley teasingly asked who interrupts a person when they’re singing and to give him one good reason why he can’t sing that song. After a mock private conference where Carrie whispered in his ear about the uproar concerning Hank Williams, Jr.’s recent comments about President Obama, Brad Paisley exclaimed, “Hank said what?” and then, “Oh, alright then, plan B.”
The song that ensued was nothing short of hysterical and got a huge reaction from the audience. Brad Paisley began, “Well, country music singers have always been a real close family” and Carrie countered, “And lately one of our kinfolk made some people mad on national tv.” Continuing from there, the hosts sang:
“And people want to know, Hank, why do you drink?” (Brad Paisley)
“Before an interview” (Carrie Underwood)
“Why do you smoke?” (Brad Paisley)
“Before an interview” (Carrie Underwood)
“Football ain’t the same without that song that you wrote” (Brad Paisley)
“Stop and think it over…” (hosts together)
“Let me help you get the picture…” (Brad Paisley)
“You can get drunk and start carrying on”‘ (Carrie Underwood)
“But you can’t compare the president to Hitler.” (Brad Paisley)
With the delivery of that punch line, the members of Little Big Town were shown in an outburst of laughter, parroting the majority of the audience. Just then, Hank Williams, Jr. walked up to stand behind Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. In the audience, former NFL quarterback and play-by-play announcer, Terry Bradshaw, could be seen openly laughing. He was no doubt enjoying Hank’s sense of humor after his song, All My Rowdy Friends, was removed from Monday Night Football due to the incident in which he offended the president’s supporters.
Of course, when Hank Williams Jr. was discovered, Carrie blamed the whole song idea on Brad. Brad asked Hank Williams, Jr. if he wanted to say anything. To the delight of the audience, a straight-faced Williams said, “No.” Brad replied, “Probably best,” to which Hank responded, “Why don’t we just sing.”
The hilarious skit continued then, with Hank Williams, Jr. in tow. Brad pumped up the crowd again:
“Are you ready for an awards show?”
“Are you ready to party?” (Hank Williams, Jr.)
“This is rockin Randall Hank”
“And Brad-cephus” (Brad Paisley chimes in)
“Gonna get it started.” (Hank Williams, Jr.)
“We got Taylor and Keith and Kenny that’s right” (Carrie Underwood)
“All my rowdy friends are coming over tonight” (Hank Williams, Jr.)
This latest in spoofs by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood was yet another example of why this pair has been chosen to host the CMA Awards again and again. Between Brad Paisley’s ability to act the part of the unknowing, over-eager performer and Carrie Underwood’s fantastic comebacks, gestures and facial expressions, they keep the audience, both in Nashville and through television, engaged in the show from the very beginning. Their light-hearted humor sets the stage for a fun evening of entertainment, the laughter they give like a gift that we’ve waited an entire year to open.
Kudos to the writers for their brilliant ideas and to Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood for never failing to deliver those ideas with a comedic skill that makes fans and others in the country music industry look forward to the CMA Awards every year.
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