The Super Bowl is famous for the ads and the game, but also because of the elaborate halftime shows featuring artists that no one who watches football listens to. Halftime, in my eyes, is the perfect time to use the bathroom, eat some food, poop in someone else’s house, and make another drink. Everyone else, usually the girls, is watching the halftime show.
There have been enjoyable halftime shows, but the baffling amount of bad halftime shows really outshines everything else. Although, nothing could be as bad as Ashlee Simpson at the Orange Bowl. I’m trying to come up with something worse than that, but it’s impossible.
1. The Black Eyed Peas (Super Bowl XLV, 2011)
Remember The Black Eyes Peas? Me either, like my childhood, I blocked them out completely. But for those of you who do remember, you’ll remember it was terrible, and they’re terrible, and their fans are terrible, and their music is terrible. I’m getting physically upset just watching them perform in the video. The theme is Tron Legacy, so why not have Daft Punk be the performers? You know, since they did the soundtrack to the movie? Holy crap, that would be an amazing halftime show. Get on that, NFL.
2. New Kids On The Block (Super Bowl XXV, 1991)
Since there was a major war story happening during the halftime show, this got bumped until the conclusion of the game. Okay, I’m not supporting war by any means, but war really saved the day here. This is the a big moment where the NFL realized they could make a huge show of halftime, because the year before they featured Pete Fountain and the Nicholls State University Marching Band. Yeesh.
3. Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, and Teddy Pendergrass (Super Bowl XXIX, 1995)
Imagine if this line-up were today. Wouldn’t you scratch your head and wonder what the hell was going on? Halftime shows are supposed to pump you up and get you ready for the second half, so watching Tony Bennett sing mid-game seems odd. He’s more of a funeral, or an old person’s award show kind of singer. The scariest thing about the video is that I wore almost the exact outfit to a friend’s wedding that Tony Bennett wears in the video. This was LAST YEAR.
4. Boys II Men, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves, The Temptations, and Queen Latifah (Super Bowl XXXII, 1998)
I’ll let this weird behind-the-scenes video speak for the whole show. It really makes you feel how far away the 90’s are. (*Plays Green Day’s Dookie*)
5. Madonna, LMFAO, Cirque du Soleil, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A., Cee Lo Green, and Andy Lewis (Super Bowl XLVI, 2012)
A few years back I was working in Toronto, Canada and after work we all went to a bar called Jack Astor’s for some liquid refreshments. At one point in the night, all the televisions in the place started playing a Madonna concert DVD, and we immediately left. This performance activated my PTSD.
Banner via Getty
6. Aerosmith, Britney Spears, N’Sync, Nelly & Mary J. Blige (Super Bowl XXXV, 2001)
This was just a combination of the dumbest possible collaborations I have ever seen. It’s like the opposite of what happened with the Grammy’s this year. This was back when Britney Spears was still hot, Nelly was a thing, and Justin Timberlake wasn’t universally loved. 2001 was a pretty terrible year all around, if you didn’t know.
7. Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock, and Justin Timberlake (Super Bowl XXXVIII, 2004)
It was the nipple seen around the world, and it looked like it was hit with a shuriken. This performance nearly tanked Justin Timberlake’s career, and Janet Jackson has been almost non-existent ever since. Nelly again?! NO. (NSFW at the end, obviously)
8. Clint Black, Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt, The Judds (Super Bowl XXVIII, 1994)
The halftime equivalent of a jukebox playlist in a bar that all the night workers listen to at 2 pm. I can only think of warm beer, trucker hats, missing teeth, flannel, and a lady with smeared makeup on her face and lipstick on her teeth.
9. Up With People (Super Bowl XVI, 1982)
This entire performance is awkward and feels like a cult took over the entire show. Those huge and awkward smiles scare the hell out of me. Of course, it has to be in Pontiac, Michigan. Like Michigan doesn’t have enough bad press, they have to deal with this performance on their record. At least Detroit got The Rolling Stones in 2006.
10. Everything before 1981 (Super Bowl I – XV, 1967-1981)
The Super Bowl’s halftime potential wasn’t realized until the 80s and even more so at the beginning of the 90s, so everything before that was marching bands with Andy Williams. I think there is only one person who appreciates Andy Williams.