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Paisley happy to be butt of jokes in variety special

Associated Press • Nov 30, 2019 at 3:37 AM

NEW YORK — Brad Paisley is perfectly comfortable being the butt of jokes. In his new variety special, “Brad Paisley Thinks He’s Special,” airing Dec. 3 on ABC, the country star allows himself to be the punchline in a number of skits with celeb pals including Peyton Manning, Carrie Underwood, the Jonas Brothers and Tim McGraw.

“It’s the way I got everybody to do it. I said, ‘You’re here to roast me,’ ” he says. “When we were talking on the phone I said, ‘Guys, no misconception here. You need to realize this exists for me to be laughed at and I’m good with that.’ So they were like, ‘We’re in.’ ”

In one highlight, Underwood takes Paisley mudding in a red truck yelling, “I feel the need for speed” with Paisley exclaiming, “Jesus take the wheel!” as he tries to hold on.

“There’s a side of Carrie I’ve never seen before doing this,” Paisley said.

The award-winning musician has enjoyed showing his comedic side since high school and, as his star rose in showbiz, it caught on that he was always game to play. He’s co-hosted the CMA’s 11 times, had a comedy special on Netflix and stars in a series of Nationwide insurance commercials with Manning.

“You show up on some of these late-night shows like ‘Kimmel,’ they’ve figured out a long time ago that I’m up for anything and so they’ll frequently have me guest and do a funny song or a skit or a thing. Same with other friends I’ve made,” Paisley said. “Seth Meyers is a good friend and people like that that over the years I really enjoy the collaborative process of doing things outside of my comfort zone.”

Implementing ideas and turning them into a reality is a thrill for the 47-year-old.

“I love nothing more than creating and sort of coming up with an idea and seeing it through in this career,” he said. “Whether that’s a song that you write, and it becomes a single and a hit and a video and a thing you do on tour and leads to everything else or it’s a television show. There’s nothing more satisfying than saying here’s the finish line and I think if we do all these things right, we can get there.”

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