Country music and comedy have gone together since the early days of the Grand Ole Opry, and funny man/country superstar and Opry member Brad Paisley has learned from the best. Throughout his multi-platinum career, Paisley has applied ample doses of dry wit to many of his songs and videos, and since 2008 has cranked up his comedic skills as co-host (with Carrie Underwood) of the CMA Awards telecasts.
A hosting gig of another kind awaits Paisley next month in Nashville as he takes part in the second annual weeklong Wild West Comedy Festival at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Music City, April 16th at 7:30 p.m. Comedians slated to appear include Jon Reep, Greg Hahn, Theo Von, Sarah Tiana and Keith Alberstadt, among others. As host, Paisley will introduce and interact with each comedian on the TPAC stage. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, March 27th at www.wildwestcomedyfestival.com.
Among the performers announced for the festival, which takes place at several venues throughout Nashville, are comedy notables Kevin Hart, Lewis Black, Jeff Garlin, Nick Kroll, Joel McHale, John Mulaney and Tig Notaro. Special programs include Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes presenting their podcast, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, and Airplane! filmmakers David Zucker and Jerry Zucker presenting a screening of their 1980 comedy classic, followed by an audience Q&A session.
Last year’s dozens of Wild West Comedy Festival shows were attended by more than 20,000 people and because of that success, organizers added an additional day to the lineup for a total now of six. The show’s organizer, Wild West Productions, was founded by actor Vince Vaughn in 2005 and has gone on produce numerous TV shows and films.
On May 15th, Paisley will embark on his Crushin’ It World Tour, which shares its name with the latest single from the chart-topping Moonshine in the Trunk. Anyone who needs a refresher course on Paisley’s gift for humor (and fondness for stinky cheese), need only look back at a few of his best (and worst) tour pranks.