With this year’s groanworthy addition of Bruno Mars and The Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Together at last!” said no one, ever), we are counting down the 10 worst Super Bowl halftime shows.
10. Gloria Estefan with Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill (1992)
Gloria Estefan brought her Miami sound to Minneapolis, and Boitano and Hamill brought figure skating to a football field. Yep.
9. Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton (2000)
Not a terrible lineup, but rather than perform their hits, the artists were primarily shilling for Disney (Collins played a tune from the “Tarzan” soundtrack instead of what would have been a rollicking version of “Sussudio”). And the whole thing was narrated by Edward James Olmos. Huh?
8. The University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band (1967)
Sure, the first Super Bowl halftime lacked starpower, but that’s no excuse for a lackluster performance of John Philip Sousa’s “The Liberty Bell.” C’mon.
7. Tanya Tucker, Clint Black, Travis Tritt and The Judds (1994)
Following Michael Jackson’s record-setting performance in 1993, halftime show producers made deliberate efforts to get top performers. This was the first group they came up with?!
6. George Burns, Mickey Rooney, et al. (1987)
Old dudes! No, seriously the highlight of this halftime show was a Southern California drill team … a high school drill team. PS: We still love ya, George.
5. Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Nelly, Kid Rock (2004)
Yes, we all remember the “wardrobe malfunction” and endless media fallout over a nipple, but let’s not forget that Kid Rock, P. Diddy and Nelly scarred children even more. And the theme was “Rock the Vote,” so this halftime show is indirectly responsible for George W. Bush’s second term.
4. New Kids on the Block, actual kids (1991)
The boy band performed “This One’s For the Children” before a children’s choir performed “It’s a Small World After All,” in another Disney plug. Mercifully, viewers were spared watching this, as ABC cut in for breaking news about Operation Desert Storm in Iraq.
3. The Blues Brothers (1997)
Replacing John Belushi with John Goodman and younger brother Jim Belushi has always been sacrilege, but the worst part of this performance is that there’s a good chance some Hollywood producer saw it and thought, “A Blues Brothers sequel? I’ll make millions! And call it ‘Blues Brothers 2000.’ I’m a genius.”
2. Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, Nelly (2001)
At the time, rock fans were embarrassed that Aerosmith would appear with lowly pop stars, but in retrospect, it’s Justin and Britney who should be embarrassed. Also, more Nelly?
1. The Black Eyed Peas, Usher and Slash (2011)
It’s too easy to make fun of The Black Eyed Peas. They suck. But Slash, WTF man?! There aren’t enough speedballs and Jack Daniels in Keith Richards to justify your presence with these clowns.