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Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood’s Best CMA Opening Jokes

Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood
Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood‘s CMA Awards opening monologue is often the most talked about moment from each broadcast. They gently pick on legends like George Strait, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, take sharper jabs at Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Sugarland, and perhaps offend superstars like Taylor Swift (as they did in 2012).

You can usually count on the onstage couple for one or two song parodies, some memorable banter and a dozen great one-liners. All are part of this list of their best CMA opening jokes of all time.


‘Moves Like Haggard’




Paisley and Underwood opened their 2012 CMA Awards monologue with a countryfied cover of Maroon 5‘s ‘Moves Like Jagger,’ called ‘Moves Like Haggard.’ The best joke might come at the reprise to close the monologue, however (skip to 6:20). “Tonight’s gonna end with handcuffs and subpoenas,” Underwood sings. “Some what?” replies Paisley. It’ll make more sense when you watch it.


Singing ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E’ from Brooks and Dunn




Paisley and Underwood have included many legendary country covers into their routine in years past. Tammy Wynette’s ‘D-I-V-O-R-C-E’ became a way to joke about Brooks and Dunn‘s breakup. “Everyone is sad except for Sugarland, cause they’re home free,” they sing. Later. they’d spoof LeAnn Rimes‘ ‘Blue’ as ‘Swine Flu.’


Brad and Carrie Go ‘Gangnam Style’




Psy’s ‘Gangnam Style’ was everywhere by November 2012. Paisley couldn’t control himself when it began to play during the CMA Awards opening. Underwood proves she also has the moves to keep up — in four-inch high heels, no less. This was a great minute of television that led into a hilarious joke about what Little Big Town meant by “motorboatin‘.”


Tim and Faith Barbie Dolls




The top two jokes come from Paisley and Underwood’s 2011 CMAs opening monologue. It would have been enough if the two would have stopped after playing with the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Barbie dolls while millions of fans watched from home. But then, they turned around to see if each was anatomically correct. Country music America let out a collective “OMG!” heard ’round the world.


A Surprise Visit from Bocephus




Paisley opened the 2011 CMAs broadcast by changing the words of Hank Williams, Jr.’s ‘Are You Ready for Some Football’ theme song to fit the awards show. Then, Underwood let him know of the controversy surrounding the song, so they started singing, “Hank, why do you drink (before interviews) / Hank why do you smoke (before interviews).” Williams had just been fired from ESPN for comparing President Obama to Hitler. It was a shock to everyone at home and in the venue when he walked up behind the two co-hosts and played along. Simply brilliant.

Next: See the 10 Greatest CMA Moments of All Time

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