The singer brings his comedy chops, along with his guitar, to his first variety show, which also features guest stars Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini and the Jonas Brothers

By Nancy Kruh
January 03, 2020 02:00 PM
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No need for a double take: That’s Brad Paisley reappearing on your TV this Saturday when his popular TV special earns a rebroadcast. The variety show, the singer’s first, was the most-watched show on ABC the night of its original broadcast, Dec. 3, no doubt earning it an encore.

Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special is a rollicking romp through comedy, song and the wild streets of Nashville. Of course, from Paisley’s 11 years of hosting the CMA Awards with Carrie Underwood, everyone knows that he has sharp comedic chops — and here they are almost the main attraction.

So sure, tune in for the music, but don’t be surprised by just how funny this show is.

Among the best bits involves Paisley’s favorite comic foil, Underwood, and his attempt to show her how to put some mud on the tires in a four-wheel-drive pickup. Instead, she insists on taking the wheel, terrorizing Paisley with doughnuts, fishtails and other thrill-seeking moves. (He has resolutely maintained that no stunt driver was involved.)

BRAD PAISLEY THINKS HE’S SPECIAL - The variety special, hosted and executive produced by Sony country music superstar Brad Paisley, will showcase the energy of Music City from Nashville's iconic War Memorial Auditorium through a combination of Paisley's signature humor, unexpected surprises, heartfelt field pieces and rousing musical performances. "Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special" is set to air TUESDAY, DEC. 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Mark Levine) BRAD PAISLEY, CARRIE UNDERWOOD
Paisley and Underwood.
| Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

Underwood is one of the show’s several guests who are there just for laughs. Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning shows up to hound Paisley with performance advice. Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor, and Paisley crash a bachelorette party-on-wheels — on one of Nashville’s many pedal taverns. And Tim McGraw and Paisley’s wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, also have memorable cameos.

BRAD PAISLEY THINKS HE’S SPECIAL - The variety special, hosted and executive produced by Sony country music superstar Brad Paisley, will showcase the energy of Music City from Nashville's iconic War Memorial Auditorium through a combination of Paisley's signature humor, unexpected surprises, heartfelt field pieces and rousing musical performances. "Brad Paisley Thinks He's Special" is set to air TUESDAY, DEC. 3 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (ABC/Mark Levine) PEYTON MANNING, BRAD PAISLEY
Manning and Paisley.
| Credit: Mark Levine/ABC

There’s no shortage of music on the show, which was filmed entirely in Nashville: Paisley joins his musical guests, the Jonas Brothers, Darius Rucker (Hootie, along with his Blowfish) and Kelsea Ballerini, as each sings one of their hits; Paisley even ropes the Jonases into a bit of high jinks. The mirthful host does reserve the right to show off his sensitive side, debuting a new song, “Alive Right Now,” which he shares with Addie Pratt, a talented young singer who’s also a cancer survivor.

By the way, if you can’t get enough of Paisley’s funny side, be on the lookout for his upcoming Amazon series, Fish Out of Water. He’s set to star and executive produce the half-hour sitcom, which was announced in September (though its debut has yet to be scheduled).

Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special airs at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on Saturday on ABC.