Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood Open the 2015 CMA Awards With ‘Star Wars’ Skit, Song Parodies [WATCH]
In a suspension of reality, the pair pretended to be distressed to learn that a more elaborate skit based on the beloved sci-fi movie series was being nixed, despite the fact that both were already dressed for the occasion: Underwood portrayed Princess Leia, complete with a dark-haired wig featuring the character's iconic side braids, while Paisley played her foil, Han Solo (affectionately dubbed "Guitar Solo").
In the process of telling everyone else that the skit was off, Paisley and Underwood ran into Little Big Town (who were playing the role of the alien-like Star Wars Cantina Band) and Darius Rucker, who was dressed in full Stormtrooper regalia. The pair hesitated before opening a dressing room door, as they were expecting to see "Garth Vader," but found Luke Bryan dressed as Darth Vader instead, who quipped, "Garth really wanted to be Chewbacca."
Making light of the situation, Paisley exclaimed, "We're going to sing songs, tell jokes and host the Sith out of this show!"
And that they did: When the pair re-emerged after performances from Hank Williams Jr. and Eric Church and John Mellencamp and Keith Urban, they unleashed a series of brief performances and monologues riffing on names and events in the news.
Paisley, acoustic guitar in hand, and Underwood modernized Patsy Cline's "Crazy" by substituting in "cray-cray" during a current events parody that made mention of man buns, the hip-hop hit "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," and all-day McDonald's breakfast. The line "Bruce Jenner's a babe now!" brought mild gasps from the crowd, while there were audible boos after they sang, "Trump's leading in the polls!"
The pair then mentioned big changes, such as Underwood's new baby Isaiah and couples who have broken up -- including Muppets characters Kermit and Miss Piggy, who happened to be sitting in the crowd. Underwood wished the pair well, saying, "We just want you to be happy," which gave Paisley the opening to grin and say, "On a completely unrelated topic -- howdy, Blake!" as the camera panned to Blake Shelton, in perhaps a nod to his just-announced relationship with Gwen Stefani.
That led to more riffing on the rash of dating site hacks: "Carrie, have you heard that duet Blake did with Ashley Madison?" Paisley asked, while Underwood quickly corrected him that it was with Ashley Monroe.
"Wait, have I been going to the wrong site?" Paisley asked.
Later, Paisley noted, "Ashley Madison did have a big hit this year," and then unleashed a ditty called "Your Cheatin' Site," set to the tune of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart": "Bored with your wife / And your sister, too / Your cheatin' site / Will tell on you -- Josh Duggar."
Gentle teasing of Sam Hunt's unique vocal style and a nod to Justin Timberlake (who was on hand to duet with Chris Stapleton) eventually culminated in one more Star Wars reference: William Shatner, who showed up dressed as a Stormtrooper and pretended to be irate that the skit was cancelled, saying, "I look like an idiot!"
Shatner sputtered about the outfit and awards for a minute (and "Girl Crush" in the process), before announcing, "I'm boldly going to the gift lounge."
Paisley and Underwood still had one more trick up their sleeves, however: As the latter looked on in horror, the former unbuckled his pants and pulled them down to reveal plaid boxer shorts, all in the name of what he called "naked host selfies."
"Miley [Cyrus] sets the bar, we try to reach the bar," he noted, as Underwood quickly corrected him, of course.
This is the eighth year in a row Paisley and Underwood have hosted the CMA Awards.
16 Important CMA Awards Wins
Do You Know All of These CMA Awards Facts?