Dolly Parton said she and Garth Brooks would go off script hosting the 2023 ACM Awards on Thursday night. She was not kidding.

Brooks came out with a free-wheeling monologue about some of the greats in country music before telling the Texas crowd that the career longevity needed to be considered. So, with apologies to Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and even, "The guy that single-handily saved country music, Randy Travis," he brought out the GOAT, Dolly Parton.

Parton walked out pulling a wagon with an actual goat in it. Claire is her name, and after just a few seconds, she called for someone to "take her baaaaaaack."

attachment-Garth Brooks Dolly Parton GOAT
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

From that point on, Parton seemed hell-bent on making Brooks blush.

"Absolutely, I’m gonna go off script," she told Taste of Country about her plans for the show. "We really don’t need it. It’s nice to have guidelines, because you gotta know who is coming up next or if you’ve gotta go to commercial. But as far as us needing anything else in between, I’m sure we’ll wing it pretty good."

The closing minutes of the 2023 ACM Awards monologue recalled their cheeky promo video that relied on a joke about it being Brooks' "first time." Indeed, it's his first time hosting, but the play on words left fans in stitches. They were left with mouths hanging open after what came next.

After calling Brooks "Tarzan" when she stumbled, Parton joked that she heard that she was Brooks' "hall pass" and that his wife Trisha Yearwood had called the same thing. He played along, and one assumed it'd be another play on words.


Parton theorized that "GOAT" stood for, "Garth organize a threesome."

There's nothing subtle about that, but you don't get to be a multi-time Entertainer of the Year, Hall of Famer and awards show host by being subtle.

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