Carrie & Brad On Hosting CMAs

| November 2, 2014

BradCarrieThis Wednesday, Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood will co-host the CMA Awards for the 7th time.  In the days leading up to the show, they’re preparing for the big night, and working on the opening monologue.  When they co-hosted Country Countdown USA with Lon Helton, they said they’re already hard at work.

So are you rehearsing?  (Brad) We’re kind of getting into the swing of things now, and starting to panic, because it’s getting close.  It’s probably the second most difficult time to host a CMA Awards show I can remember.  The most difficult was 2001 after 9/11, what could you do?  How many jokes could you tell?  This year is second to that to me, because there’s so much going on in the world that’s not laughable.  There are some things, but they don’t make the headlines, so we have to be doubly creative, because I think they need to laugh.  (Carrie) We want to lighten it up, and give people escape from the bad things that are happen, but that doesn’t give us much to talk about when there are so many things we can’t talk about because we don’t want to be disrespectful.”

So is there a script yet? (Brad) Script is a loose term at this point.  (Carrie) It’s loose until it’s show time. (Brad) We’re making changes at 4 o’clock the day of the show.  (Carrie) I think we’ll be fine.  I’m not worried.  (Brad) Two years ago, the fact that it came off so well gives me hope.  We should have bombed a couple years ago. (Carrie) There were a lot of misunderstandings after that show.

You guys have created a regular bit with song parodies. (Brad) And that’s what we’re wrestling with now, that’s what will take the surgical writing this year, because it may not be as obvious.  It’s like typical Nashville, where people pitch us songs, now people are pitching us parodies.  (Carrie) Oh yeah, even my mom, I’ll talk to my mom, and it’s like, oh gosh. (Brad) Are you guys gonna do ‘Ebola By Morning?’  No, we’re not.  I get texts from an accountant I know, and it’s always something that we can’t do, because you can’t do that.

Do you run your ideas by someone to see the reaction? (Brad) Oh yeah, I call people and ask their opinion s, we text each other, my wife puts up with crap for weeks, til she doesn’t want to hear it any more.  (Carrie) It’s also good that we have a guy and girl as co-hosts, because when there are just guys telling dude jokes, and I’m like women are not going to think that’s funny.  There’s not going to be a single woman laughing at that.  We work on the whole balance, figuring out some sort of compromise, we find some way to do it.

At what point in the year does this start to consume you? “(Carrie) Now for sure.  Things will pop in your head as the summer ends and we go into fall, but now I wake up in the morning, and ooo that’s a good idea.  I’m laying in bed at night thinking about things we can do.”

If you have jokes on each other, how can they be a surprise? (Brad) We work as a team, I don’t think we do that, we always know what we’re going to do about each other.  But I’d be OK if you came up with something and want to prank me. But normally it’s a group effort.

How are you going to handle Carrie’s pregnancy?  (Carrie) I don’t know, we don’t have anything in concrete yet. (Brad) We have some ideas.  It’ll be the elephant in the corner of the room.

Let’s talk about some of the people who’ll be in the audience Wednesday night.  Garth Brooks will be there, and he’s making a comeback after a few years off.  Do you say something about him? “(Brad) I think that’s absolutely fair game.  He’s also got a good sense of humor.  He’s not someone you trend lightly around. (Carrie) I think it’ll be a cool moment in the show to acknowledge… (Brad) It’s nice to take an old man like him, and pay homage to him before it’s too late. (laughs)”

How about George Strait? (Brad) Oh yes, being that he’s still riding away.  He’s also a great sport.  He’s easy to make laugh, he’s such a great loveable, likeable guy that we’ll love picking on.”

One of the interesting categories is New Artist of the Year.  Both of you won that, Brad in 2000 and Carrie in 2006.  This year’s nominees are Brandy Clark, Brett Eldredge, Kip Moore, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell.  Thoughts about that? (Brad) That’s an interesting category, hard to pick. I think Brett Eldredge may have the best chance, but you never know.  (Carrie) The thing is these are all people who have been doing well. (Brad) Remember that when you don’t win. (Carrie) They should give everyone a participation ribbon.  (Brad) That’ll go over well.  There are no losers at the CMA Awards.” (laughs)

Watch Brad & Carrie co-host the 48th annual CMA Awards this Wednesday night on ABC-TV.

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