Toby Keith and actress Kristen Bell eventually took the stage to host the 2012 CMT Music Awards, but if you followed the opening moments of the show, you learned it wasn’t easy for them to get along. The two spent time campaigning to host the show themselves in a pre-taped video segment that featured cameos from President Obama, Mitt Romney, Bon Jovi, Willie Nelson, Mario Lopez and more.

“This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make since I’ve been in office,” President Obama said, considering the alternatives. “I want them both.”

“See I just put two people back to work,” Romney deadpanned after suggesting the same thing.

In between celebs, Keith and Bell ran smear ads accusing the other of being untrustworthy, having illegal ivory teeth (Keith) and generally being unfit to host the show on their own. “We haven’t seen a fight this bad since Toby Keith took on the Dixie Chicks,” Hoda Kotb said on set with her daytime TV co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. Matthew McConaughey and Maria Menounos were two other stars to make an appearance.

The sketch followed Lady Antebellum‘s performance with Hot Chelle Rae. Early on, the 2012 CMT Music Awards have included a mix of country music’s biggest names and stars from Hollywood and pop music. At the end of the skit, it was Nelson who finally convinced Bell and Keith to play nice.

“It’s Willie’s world, we kinda just live in it,” Keith joked before the two came to the stage in a giant red Solo cup.

“CMT’s got their own version of Lady Gaga‘s crazy egg, right there,” he added. Thus far, the show is running all cylinders.

Watch the Intro to the 2012 CMT Music Awards

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