Brad Paisley Practiced His CMA Monologue Jokes on His Family: 'My Kids Know It Better Than Me!'
The Nashville vet memorized the award show's opening act by practicing for his wife and two sons
Want a preview of Brad Paisley‘s CMAs monologue before Wednesday’s show? Just ask one of his kids!
“If you knew where my children went to school, you could get the monologue from the 5th grade class because by the time the show rolls around, my oldest has told everyone in his class,” says Paisley, 45, who will cohosting the 51st Country Music Association Awards with Carrie Underwood for the tenth consecutive year.
“One way I learn it is to just do it around the house,” he adds. “I’ll be practicing the songs and parodies and stuff, so my kids know it better than me!”
Paisley and Underwood, 34, opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about their annual hosting gig and say no subject is off-limits, including politics.
“We just want to make fun of things that are funny,” Underwood said. “I hope that people don’t take clips and things out of context — that’s the most frustrating part, I think. We have this eight-minute-long monologue, and we really do try to be in the middle. But people will pick out individual jokes and be like, ‘Can you believe they ripped on so-and-so?’ or ‘They did this on this person?’ But we do it to everybody! We try to be equal and make fun of funny things.”
Indeed, “Humor is an important aspect,” Paisley said. “It may be more important than ever that we make some people laugh this year.”
All jokes aside, Paisley confirmed the awards will pay tribute to the lives lost following the tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October, when a gunman killed 58 people and injured 527 at the country music festival, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
“It’s very important to use this show as a vehicle to uplift our community and our industry,” Paisley said. “The best thing we can do is acknowledge it, pay our respects, and then perform this music and use this music for what it’s best at, which is unifying and giving us joy and finding the light here.”
Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town and Keith Urban scored the most nominations for the 2017 awards, where Reba McEntire and Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Niall Horan, Thomas Rhett and many more are set to perform.
The 51st CMA Awards will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET. The show will air live on ABC.