The 1989 Super Bowl halftime show was just plain weird. First of all, it was called “Be-Bop Bamboozled in 3D”, and according to the show producer, Dan Witkowski, it was meant to be an ironic take on 1950s shows.
The audience was asked to wear 3D glasses to see the “world’s largest card trick”, which ended up being just plain confusing. There was also an Elvis Presley impersonator called Elvis Presto and a separate magic trick act. Need we say more?
Worst: Gloria Estefan & Olympic Figure Skaters, 1992
The 1992 Super Bowl show had audiences excited. Famous singer Gloria Estefan and Olympic ice skaters Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill were the main attractions. They had prepared a whole show around the “Winter Magic” theme but it ended up becoming famous for being a huge flop.
What was meant to be a spectacular winter show turned into a scene of chaos - giant snowmen, random choreography, and dancers with weird costumes running around everywhere. Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine tried to save the day with a performance, but it was in vain. Audiences changed the channel, and the ratings plummeted.
Worst: Blues Brothers, James Brown, ZZ Top, 1997
With a lineup like this, you would imagine it to be one of the best halftime shows ever. However, even though the Godfather of soul himself, James Brown, tried his best, the show was terrible. The year was 1997, and the performers included the Blues Brothers Band (featuring greats John Goodman, Dan Akroyd, and Jim Belushi), ZZ Top, and James Brown.
Unfortunately, Jim couldn’t live up to his brother John Belushi’s talent, and the Blues Brothers' performance ended up being a dud. Afterward, James Brown had to lip-sync his beloved hits, and it was way too obvious. When legendary rock band ZZ Top got on stage, people were no longer interested.
Worst: Irma Thomas, Doug Kershaw, Pete Fountain, and Snoopy, 1990
The halftime show of 1990 was solid proof that, more often than not, it’s better to keep things simple. This show was anything but that – featuring two completely unrelated themes. One was a homage to New Orleans since the Super Bowl was taking place there, and the other was a tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip.
The music was still very good. But the whole bit of snoopy on a steamboat dancing to ‘Where the Saints Go Marching In’, and then ‘Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown', was just too incoherent to enjoy.
Worst: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, 1995
Another halftime show that was regarded as one of the strangest, craziest, and worst of all time was the one in 1995. The theme was ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye’, and the performers were Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, and the Miami Sound Machine.
All great artists on paper, but the added stunt people, live python snakes, an Indiana Jones impersonator, and lots of skydivers just ended up being way too much. The show producers wanted to go as big as possible and clearly, they went overboard.