It’s nearly time for one of the most magical moments of the year. We are referring, of course, to the Super Bowl halftime show, which over the years has proven to be a true entertainment grab bag. Even when you know who the performers are in advance, you have no idea what you’re going to get until it begins. Cases in point? These 10 examples, which range from lame to train wreck to just plain weird. We can only hope Beyoncé will be much, much better.
Super Bowls X, XIV, XVI, XX: Up With People Trust us, we’re as surprised as you are that this merry band of weirdos has managed to play four halftime shows.
Super Bowl XXIII: "Be Bop Bamboozled" A magic show. With an Elvis impersonator. And The Stray Cats before they had any retro appeal. Suddenly, 50-plus Madonna last year doesn’t seem so bad.
Super Bowl XXV: New Kids on the Block NKOTB teamed up with Disney to bring “It’s A Small World After All” into the nineties. Apparently they were going for the all-too-crucial under-12 demo that year.
Super Bowl XXVI: "Winter Magic" This halftime show is a perfect example of the pre-Michael Jackson shows. Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill skate around on vinyl while Gloria Estefan sings. Awesome?
Super Bowl XXVIII: "Rockin' Country Sunday" With Tanya Tucker, Travis Tritt and similar musical acts in the house, this was probably a pretty great year for country music fans, and there are probably a lot of those in Atlanta. Everyone else took the opportunity to hit the head and grab some chicken wings.
Super Bowl XXIX: "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" Promoting a new Disneyland ride with a detailed production involving a stolen Super Bowl trophy, a parachuting Indiana Jones, Miami Sound Machine, Tony Bennett and a garishly costumed Patti Labelle? Makes perfect sense.
Super Bowl XXXIII: "Celebration of Soul, Salsa and Swing" One good thing about Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing the Super Bowl? Everyone realized they suck.
Super Bowl XXXVIII: Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Who can forget the infamous “wardrobe malfunction”? We really hope that you weren’t watching this with your parents and/or kids.
Super Bowl XLI: Prince Prince’s performance is, as far as we know, the only time that a massive devil dong has been silhouetted as part of a halftime show.
Super Bowl XLIV: The Who This is one of those moments that makes you wish there were a mandatory retirement age for rock stars. The Who were lethargic and pathetic, likely cancelling a tour after this horrific performance. We can only hope we won’t get fooled again, so to speak.