Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley Offer Lighthearted Comedy in 2018 CMA Awards Monologue
In their 11th year co-hosting the CMA Awards, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley have their comedic monologue routine down pat. However, the pair had at least one surprise up their sleeves for their 2018 iteration: Underwood revealed the sex of her baby, after an extended riff gently ribbing Paisley for "accidentally" revealing that she was having a baby boy back in 2014.
To start, Underwood -- who was wearing leather pants and a hot pink, floor-length duster tied around her baby bump -- felt Paisley's upper arm muscles and said, "Brad, have you been working out?" He responded with,"And you have really let yourself go!" With a withering sigh, she said, "Yeah, I’m pregnant.” Paisley feigned surprise, asking, "How did this happen? And who?” and then jokingly tried to get Underwood to reveal the gender by rattling off famous country couples -- Garth or Tricia? Keith or Nicole? June and Johnny? Willie and Waylon?
Paisley then further joked that he himself would reveal who the father is, by quipping, “Mike, we’re all rooting for you, buddy!” as the camera cut to Underwood's husband, Mike Fisher. In mock-exasperation, Underwood said, “It’s a Willie!”
Paisley then pretended to bring out Underwood's other son, Isaiah, to sing-yodel a tune about having the "big brother blues." However, in reality it was "Lil' Hank," Mason Ramsey, singing. He extended the joke himself after someone brought out a bubble wrap dress for Underwood, to protect her from falling -- a nod to her 2017 spill that landed her with serious injuries.
“Try it on, Mom!” Ramsey said, to which Underwood responded, “I’m not your mom!”
The rest of the monologue generally kept to this light tone, with the exception of the final moments: Paisley strapped on his guitar and noted something to the effect that there so many guys in country music in 2018. With withering sarcasm, Underwood said, "Yeah, finally" -- a not-so-subtle nod to the ongoing gender inequality discussion going on in country music.
Elsewhere, the pair unfurled gently mocking references to the abundance of country music star-branded bars popping up in lower Nashville. Paisley joked he'd open a daycare center / bar since it's “irresponsible to get drunk at home with your kids there,” and that Underwood was opening a "milk bar" in 2019, which she clarified was “for an exclusive clientele.”
The pair also unleashed a parody of A Star Is Born they joked was called A Star Is Bored, in part because the CMAs are so long. In particular, they joked that Chris Stapleteon sitting in the front row was snoring. “He even snores with soul," Paisley said.
Later, Paisley also unleashed a few jokes about flossing, and, in a dad-joke way, deadpan pretended he didn't know the difference between the dance and dental hygiene. "Garth, do you floss?" Paisley asked Brooks, who promptly responded, “Yeah, dumbass.” (This did allow Luke Bryan, in the audience, to try and show off his best flossing dance moves, to the delight of everyone sitting near him.)
“How’s that supposed to prevent gingivitis?” Paisley said in mock-confusion.
With over a decade of co-hosting experience, Underwood and Paisley are CMA pros by now. However, the former assures that there's no laurels-sitting from her standpoint.
"The trick is to try and keep everything fresh," Underwood told Taste of Country about co-hosting. "To try and figure out just what we're gonna talk about, and how to keep everything rolling. We want to be funny, and we want to be timely, and we want to be respectful, and we want to just make it a great show. There's a lot of love that's put into hosting the CMAs, and I hope people feel that above all else."
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