The worst Super Bowl halftime shows of all time

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Danny Howard

February 13th, 2022

It's hard to imagine Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem will fail to deliver at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show, but we aren’t that far removed from the days of Snoopy and Indiana Jones headlining the event within the event. From the uninspired to the downright lazy, here are the five worst Super Bowl performances of all time.

1990: This was a bad idea, Charlie Brown

Super Bowl XXIV was already over by halftime, as the San Francisco 49ers were well on their way to a 55-10 blowout against the Denver Broncos, so there was no reason to stick around to watch a halftime show that relied on Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. The Peanuts characters pranced on stage, with what seemed to be a high school band providing the music.

1995: Indiana Jones and the bathroom break

Thirteen years before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ruined the Indiana Jones franchise, this disaster that took place at Super Bowl XXIX was the low point of the series. The halftime show was used to promote the upcoming Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland and featured a skit where the famed archaeologist attempted to escape with the Lombardi Trophy. Patti LaBelle and Tony Bennett took a backseat to the stunt show, when it should have been the other way around.

1997: The Blues Brothers reunion nobody wanted

It only took two years for another blatant product placement to take center stage, instead of actual musical talent. Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, and Jim Belushi headlined the halftime show, instead of James Brown and ZZ Top. This show flopped, and so did Blues Brothers 2000, when it came out a month later.

2004: Indecent exposure

The wardrobe malfunction heard round the world came during the 2004 show, when Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast at the end of their performance. The show overshadowed the game itself and became a flashpoint for arguments about free speech, censorship, and the degradation of American society. The controversy led to a couple halftime-show performers who were far less likely to appall the American public (Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones).

2011: There Are No Words

The Black Eyed Peas should have been better than this, but the horrifying performance they put forward in 2011 was one for the ages. With music that was perfect for the event, the group mumbled, droned, and slogged its way through a halftime performance that was weird and boring at the same time. Dragging Slash and Usher along, in a desperate attempt to save the show, failed.

It wasn’t as bad as Fergie destroying the national anthem at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game, but this was a terrible performance that will stand the test of time.