“Time” magazine has a list of ’11 of the Most Controversial Moments at Super Bowl Halftime Shows,’ and there’s some good stuff on it. Here are five highlights:
1. The Super Bowl didn’t start using pop acts for its halftime shows until 1991 . . . when they went with New Kids on the Block. Before that, it was just Disney floats, marching bands, and variety show stuff.
But in 1989, they tried a throwback, 1950s theme. It featured a terrible Elvis impersonator, who doubled as a MAGICIAN. And he did some sort of interactive, singing card trick. It’s REALLY bizarre.
2. When New Kids did perform in 1991, they did a kids-themed show, because Disney was producing it. They even sang “This One’s for the Children” . . . the song that they warned about having a “very serious message.”
But a lot of people didn’t even get to see the show live, because halftime was pre-empted by a news report on the Gulf War. (You can see New Kids, here.)
3. In 1995, there was an Indiana Jones theme . . . with Patti LaBelle, Tony Bennett, a Harrison Ford impersonator, and an army of shirtless male dancers paying homage to the game trophy.
4. Most of these aren’t really “controversial,” but in 2004 it definitely was. That’s when Justin Timberlake gave us the notorious “wardrobe malfunction,” by exposing Janet Jackson’s bejeweled nipple for about one second.
5. In 2007, Prince was the headliner, and he used an interestingly-shaped guitar during “Purple Rain”. A sheet dropped down, and the silhouette of him playing the guitar looked a little phallic and NSFW.
(Hit up Time.com to see the whole list in chronological order.)
(Most of them are interesting, but not all of them are controversial. Like remember the “Left Shark” phenomenon during Katy Perry’s show a few years ago? It’s on the list . . . although it’s unclear what the “controversy” was.)