RANKED! The 10 Biggest Super Bowl Halftime Show Fumbles
The Super Bowl halftime show is supposed to be the greatest show on turf every year, combining incredible production value and talent performing live in front of millions of viewers. But the harsh reality is that more often than not, the halftime show is more of a train wreck of epically hilarious proportions than it is a memorable performance. Somehow the halftime show makes even the most capable musical icons look like a theme park version of themselves, so how better to commemorate these dumpster fires than to rank the worst of the worst of all time! Enjoy the memories.
Cover Photo: Donald Miralle / Staff (Getty Images)
10. Super Bowl XLV (2011)
The main culprit of mediocrity showmanship covered in twinkly lights for this Super Bowl was the Black Eyed Peas. The BEPs have always been an overproduced, shiny, shouting match of a musical group, but being forced to watch them do anything live is borderline torture - they even somehow managed to drag Slash out of his rock star cave to destroy a classic with the help of Fergie. Click here to watch the insanity.
9. Super Bowl XXIII (1989)
Three words: Elvis Impersonator Magician. If you can make it through more than five minutes of this, you've really accomplished something.
8. Super Bowl XXXIV (2000)
Enrique Iglesias and Christina Aguilera teamed up with random Disney weirdness? Sign us up! They begin this montage of awful with a song that no one knows to go along with oddly themed costumes and some sort of giant idol. The entire plot is very unsure of itself, and why does Disney feel the need to over-narrate every damn thing they do like we're all on the Indiana Jones ride?
7. Super Bowl XXIX (1995)
Speaking of Indiana Jones, sit back and relax while a knock-off-not-Harrison-Ford version of Indy runs around aimlessly for 10 minutes, fighting off cannibals while Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle confusingly sing unrelated songs! If you love bad acting, terrible fight choreography and frightened musical icons, then this is the halftime show for you!
6. Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake actually put on a pretty good show, until the famous nip-slip took control of everyone's consciousness. The real perpetrators of this show were Kid Rock and Puff Daddy, who did their best impressions of over-the-top caricatures of themselves, ensuring they'd never perform at a halftime show ever again. As bad as Puff Daddy was, Kid Rock was so much worse.
5. Super Bowl XXXI (1997)
On paper, this show should've been a hit: ZZ Top, James Brown and The Blues Brothers should've worked perfectly, covering several demographics of Super Bowl viewers. But, then Jim Belushi appeared, and destroyed everything in his sight as if he wanted to remind us that his incredibly talented brother, John Belushi, had passed away far too early. Seriously, who let Jim Belushi even near a stage after Blues Brothers 2000 and According to Jim set comedy back 20 years?
4. Super Bowl XLVI (2012)
Here's the problem: they dragged Madonna out for what ended up being a terrific performance, but completely ruined everything by sandwiching her between two acronym-band-named atrocities: LMFAO and MIA. Seriously, who let LMFAO happen? That person should be in prison.
3. Super Bowl XX (1986)
If you're not old enough to know about Up With People, then consider yourself blessed. This train wreck of bad music plagued the airwaves for several Super Bowl halftime shows, five times to be exact! Side note: they dedicated the Super Bowl halftime show to Dr. Martin Luther King, by subjecting everyone to the worst (and corniest) music ever produced. This was bad even for the '80s.
2. Super Bowl XXVI (1992)
First of all, hosting a Super Bowl in Minnesota in January is just plain stupid. It's a frigid hell on Earth from the months of November to March in the great white North. This halftime show seemed to be a giant tourism pitch for the state of Minnesota, aimed at convincing people who lived in normal states that winter was fun and 30-below temperatures didn't slowly steal your soul and destroy your will to live. Winter sucks; just face it, Minnesota. That's why we invented places like Florida and California.
1. Super Bowl LIV (2020)
True, this is a prediction, but this year's Super Bowl has all the ingredients of a catastrophe. The setting is Miami, so Jennifer Lopez's sassiness and from-the-blockiness will be on level 1,000 before she even takes the stage. She'll definitely have the sparkliest microphone we've ever seen, in an attempt to blind us from her lip-synching and badly written songs. Then we throw Shakira in the mix to spice it up with her Kermit the Frog-ranging vocals and hip-forward dance techniques. There's sure to be unintentionally, but enormously hilarious, costumes and at least 1,000 background dancers. Top it off with random camera shots of Alex Rodriguez, Lopez's boy-toy and native Miamian, and this halftime show has all the makings of a train wreck of randomness with a twist of terrible music.