Unlike other star-studded events, CMA Awards co-host Brad Paisley vowed this year's biggest country music show wouldn't be filled with political satire. Instead, the 46-year-old singer-songwriter said he'd aim to find a new way to make fans chuckle — political affiliations aside.
"I'm not gonna touch that. I just don't find politics funny anymore," Paisley told Taste of Country on Monday, noting those type of jokes are now "off limits" for him. "There was a time when it was. It's just not funny to me anymore."
Paisley admits political jokes can sometimes give off a negative energy, and his goal is to ensure everyone enjoys the Wednesday night event.
"To me, I wanna do fun stuff. I don't wanna talk down, I don't wanna talk up — it's like, 'Let's have fun.' And let's talk about things that everybody can agree are funny," he added.
The decision to avoid politics altogether may be a first for Paisley, who has been known to poke fun at both sides of the aisle.
Before introducing the next award presenters, Paisley began to strum Underwood's hit single "Before He Cheats," surprising her with a twist.
"I'm not gonna touch that. I just don't find politics funny anymore."
“Right now, he’s probably in his PJs, watching cable news, reaching for his cell phone,” he sang as audience members chuckled. “Right now, he’s probably asking Siri, ‘How in the hell do you spell Pocahontas?’”
“It's fun to watch it that's for sure, 'till little 'Rocket Man' starts a nuclear war,” Paisley continued, as Underwood joined in, “Maybe next time he'll think before he tweets.”
Years prior, in 2013, Paisley cried in pain on stage, prompting Underwood to ask if he had "great" Obamacare.
“I started signing up last Thursday and I’m almost done!” Underwood quipped. “Let’s go to the website and get you signed up!”
The hosts then brought out a laptop to sign up for the health care plan.
The audience roared with laughter and clapped along as Underwood and Paisley sang a parody of George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning."
“ObamaCare by morning... Why’s this taking so long? I’m going to end up with hemorrhoids... If I sit here ’til dawn," the pair sang.
While Paisley — who has hosted the CMAs for more than a decade now — acknowledges political jokes would likely be a hit, he said it's important to keep the show "inclusive."
"I want everyone to feel welcome...we're not out here to offend anyone," he told Taste of Country.
Paisley and Underwood have been rehearsing their monologues and other performances ahead of the big night. There's certain to be some ad-libbing here and there, but overall Paisley promises both fans and artists alike will be able to escape reality and truly immerse themselves into the country music world for a night.
"I don't know that it's always music's job to do (be political). It can be, but I also think that sometimes it's music's job to get you away from some of these things," he added.