Michael Jackson, Katy Perry And The Most Bizarre Super Bowl Half-Time Shows

These are five of the oddest half-time show moments in NFL history
16:36, 29 Jan 2024

The latest Super Bowl has been set, as the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers booked their places in this year's showdown with victories in their respective championship games on Sunday.

But the other headliner to be performing at Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is eight-time Grammy winner Usher, who will be performing in the fabled half-time show.

Half-time shows have given us a plethora of incredible memories over the years. From rogue back-up dancers to 'wardrobe malfunctions', this annual bit of light entertainment sometimes fills up more column inches than the actual event itself. Below we take a look at five of the most bizarre Super Bowl half time show moments...


Katy Perry And The Renegade Shark

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Best described as candy-coloured fever dream combined with a Jaws-themed LSD trip, pop sensation Katy Perry’s half-time show was one of the most memorable in recent years thanks in part to one of her back-up dancers. In full shark costume, they saw their moment to shine and took it. The dancer, on Perry’s left flank, decided to go rogue, busting out seemingly random dance moves at an alarming rate, becoming an internet sensation in the process.

Diana Ross’ Swift Helicopter Exit

It’s not just the 1994 World Cup opening ceremony where soul legend Diana Ross stole the show. Two years after that stonking penalty miss in Chicago, the former Supremes lead singer was in action at the Super Bowl XXX half-time show. But where most stars like to make a grand entrance, Ross decided on the grandest of exits.

She rounded out her 10-song set with “Take Me Higher”, before looking towards the sky and declaring: “Oh, here comes my ride!”. A helicopter then landed in the stadium and took her away without a trace. Bonkers.

Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake & Nipplegate

Is there anything that needs to be said about this one? You don’t even need to like American football to know about this half-time show because it’s easily the most infamous of all-time. Pop singer Justin Timberlake stunned the world and the 143.6 million people watching live when he ‘accidentally’ unveiled Jackson’s breast. The debacle would go down as ‘Nipplegate’ and broke the record for ‘most searched event over one day’.


Red Hot Chili Peppers: Unplugged

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The Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the biggest stadium bands in the world so it’s no surprise that they were called up for half time show duty back in 2014. And, to be fair to them, they did rock… sort of.

It’s no secret that Super Bowl acts often mime to pre-recorded music, but watching the Chili Peppers rock out and maintain the act for a full set whilst their instruments were visibly all unplugged was just bizarre. There’s a ‘Give It Away’ joke here somewhere...

Michael Jackson's Two Minutes Of Silence

When you’re the King of Pop you can do what you want and that’s exactly what Michael Jackson did at the 1993 Super Bowl. Jackson literally just stood on stage doing absolutely nothing… for two minutes. It’s also worth noting that on average a performer has about 12 minutes to do their stuff, and Jackson used a good chunk of that just staring at the crowd. Weird, even for Michael Jackson.

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