Brooks, 61, kicked off the awards show on Thursday, May 11, in Frisco, Texas, by paying homage to some of the greatest country music stars of all time, or the G.O.A.T.s of the industry.
He called George Strait “your hero and my hero” and highlighted the musical contributions of Johnny Cash, George Jones and Randy Travis before pointing out that the “king of country music” might actually be a female based on longevity and superstar status.
“That female is in the house tonight! Dolly Parton,” the “That Summer” crooner yelled as his cohost hilariously walked out on stage with a literal goat in a wagon.
The “Two Doors Down” songstress quipped: “Did I hear you say you were looking for a goat?” She then made an animal pun, saying, “I think someone needs to come take her baaack! That was such a baaad joke.”
Parton’s jokes quickly turned more sexual when the “Love Is Like a Butterfly” singer claimed that before Brooks became a star, “People were saying little old me were two of the biggest stars in country music.” She gestured to her chest, adding, “I’m milking it.”
The “Wildflowers” musician continued to put her cohost on the hot seat, telling the audience, “I saw you online telling all those nice people out there that I’m your hall pass. And that I’m Trisha [Yearwood]’s hall pass too!”
Parton then had a realization, joking that Brooks use of the “GOAT” actually stood for, “Garth Organize A Threesome!”
A speechless Brooks eventually took over the microphone, telling the Run Rose Run coauthor: “I thought I couldn’t love you anymore! I’m blushing to be working with Dolly.”
The twosome previously gave fans a glimpse at their playful dynamic one month before the awards show, sharing a teaser clip for the event via social media.
“There’s a first time for everything @GarthBrooks 💛,” Parton captioned a Twitter video on April 18 of her and her cohost hanging out in a dressing room. “We’re hosting the @ACMawards — May 11 on @PrimeVideo! #ACMawards.”
In the promo, the Steel Magnolias star hyped up her stage partner who had a bit of the jitters ahead of the show. “Woo-hoo, don’t you look handsome! Are you ready for our big night?” the “Jolene” songstress asked Brooks, to which he replied, “Yeah, I’m a little nervous to be honest.”
While the “Dance” crooner admitted it was his “first time,” Parton teased that she had been around the block a time or two. (She has hosted the ACMs two additional times in 2000 and 2022, respectively.)
“I personally, am going to make this, the best night of your life,” she quipped, which prompted the “Friends in Low Places” singer to ask if they were talking about “hosting” the awards show and not something more sexual.
The Dollywood founder assured him she was being strictly professional, before telling Brooks to “look at me … up here” if he had any problems.
“Up here, yes ma’am,” the Oklahoma native said with a laugh, making sure to look Parton in the eye and not her chest.
“I am so country, I can’t do nothing but be country,” Parton, who was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, told the outlet on May 4.
Brooks agreed, saying, “I don’t think there’s anything that kinda feels like breathing in and breathing out, than listening to or playing country music.”
The “Thunder Rolls” crooner then gushed about his cohost, calling Parton “greatest of all time” for country music. “She’s timeless. She’s ageless,” Brooks revealed. “And her talent just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.”