The opening monologue at this year’s CMA Awards brought all the emotions.

Hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood opened the show with a perfect tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy, and the countless other cities across America that have experienced extreme violence and acts of terror this year.

An emotional Carrie began with these words: “Las Vegas, Charlottesville, New York, Sutherland Springs, historic storms in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida—the list goes on and on. This has been a year marked by tragedy, impacting countless lives including so many in our country music family.

“So tonight, we’re gonna do what families do: come together, prayer together, cry together and sing together, too.”

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Brad added, “The way we see it, the best way to honor our fans is to play our music loud and proud. Our music lifts people up, and that’s what we’re here to do tonight. This year’s show is dedicated to all those we lost and all those who are still healing. We love you and we will never forget you.”

Once the two eased into their comedic antics, they tried adhering to the alleged new “monologue guidelines,” meaning no silly songs or politics. But we all knew that wouldn’t last. Launching into parodies like “Hold Me Closer, Bernie Sanders” and “Harper Valley DNC,” the laughs began to roll, and just when you thought they wouldn’t shift attention to the Republican side of things came “Before He Tweets.” We’re pretty sure you can guess who comes to mind there.

No matter your political affiliations or opinions, you have to give Brad and Carrie this: no one, Republican or Democrat is safe from their shenanigans!

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The same goes for their country star friends in the audience. This year, they acknowledged both Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini’s respective engagements, Thomas Rhett and Kimberly Schlapman’s respective adoptions, and then Chris Stapleton and Hillary Scott’s respective twin baby announcements, except Brad got a little confused and, of course, made a quip:

“I’m so fascinated by these modern relationships, it’s amazing.”

Oh, Brad.

The duo then turned their attention to pop star Pink, or “Pank” as Brad called her.

“This is Nashville, Carrie, it’s Pank, like Pank Jr.”

The whole bit was insanely funny and even Pink herself was laughing hysterically.

But the best parody of the entire monologue took on the 2017 eclipse combined with the star power of the front row full of Entertainer of the Year nominees, including Garth Brooks. “Total Eclipse of the Garth” would no doubt be a hit if released on iTunes. Garth and wife Trisha Yearwood were in stitches!

And just when you thought it was over, they pulled out all the stops …

Brad and Carrie were getting a little too boastful of all their great CMA moments from the last 10 years, they have hosted, including poking fun at Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Barbie likenesses, so the superstar couple came out to settle the score and deliver a surprise for the two hosts: Brad and Carrie Barbie dolls.

“It’s like a going away present,” Tim McGraw said.

The exchange was hilarious, and Tim and Faith definitely have comedic chops.

You have to watch for yourselves, it’s all just too good!

The CMA Awards opening monologue brings all the emotions Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for CMT
Samantha Stephens absolutely lives for music. When she's not making it, she's talking or writing about it. She's worked in all arenas of the country music world for nearly a decade, from syndicated radio and television to print journalism. She's even been known to crash a red carpet or two, true story.
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