It has been a long standing tradition that the only people who think that Country Music Award presenters are funny are the presenters themselves, on ABCs CMA awards, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley tried to stack the humor deck in their favor by using the most recent Saturday Night Live script for their open. The two performers opened the award show last year and either were popular enough that the show’s organizers wanted them back or the they drew the short straw. There have been some complaints that they took things a bit too far with the not-so-good natured ribbing of Taylor Swift.
Points do have to be given for the way they poked fun at the Maine nurse who initially ignored her quarantine orders. Kaci Hickox was serenaded with the song Quarantine (sung to the tune of Jolene) and that was quite amusing. The punch line was Carrie singing what part of “stay inside don’t you understand.” As chuckle worthy as that was, the pair should really fire their gag writers and if they cannot do that, there will have to be points taken off for lack of originality. SNL got there first with their open to the Chris Rock segment last Saturday.
The two singers then segwayed into their jabs at Taylor Swift, along with a verbal slap to the democrats in the audience and at home. Earlier Paisley told the crowd that he hoped Hickox was not a country fan and apparently there were a lot of republicans in the audience as their line about the mid-term election drew quite a lot of cheers. Still Carrie Underwood and Brad using their version of the Saturday Night Live script for their opening of the CMA seemed to work pretty well.
Paisley worked in a joke about jumping the fence at the White House and the overall comedic effort was fairly amusing, if not a little harsh on poor Taylor Swift. It really was surprising to see fan favorite Underwood picking on Swift. Not to be too tacky, but it should be pointed out that 24 year old Swift has been performing professionally for 10 years, having started paying her dues at the age of 14. Underwood at 31 started her career roughly 10 years ago, but her start came from a television talent show, which she won, and clearly this, rather than a lot of struggle got Carrie her start.
Of course the two singers picking at Taylor was the result of comedy writers who come up with the material and neither of the presenters appeared to be “personally” having a go at Swift. While points could have been taken off for the apparent use of Saturday Night Live’s script at the CMA, one part of the double act was not a copy, or imitation of anyone else’s comedy routine. It looks like, Brad Paisley may have let slip just what Carrie Underwood’s tiny baby bump is in terms of gender unless, of course, country artists are in the habit of naming their little girls Garth.
By Michael Smith