Videos: 9 Historic Weird Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Super Bowl halftime shows began with its inception in 1967. Since then, we have come a long way in television and through these growing pains the Super Bowl has given us plenty of comedic moments. Beyond humor, there are historic halftime presentations that raise eyebrows for strange reasons of their own.

Patriotism theme of Super Bowl 3

It is rare to find videos of the early Super Bowls from end to end online. Thankfully, one video does exist and it shows a patriotic edge that would surprise today's Occupy Wall Street audience. Super Bowl 3 was held in Miami in 1969 and their halftime show was composed by Florida high school students that wanted to tell the tale of the ideals this country holds dearest.

Although everything about video of Super Bowl 3 is odd to modern viewers, it takes a strange turn when a giant cake dispels life-sized footballs that represent all of the teams of the NFL. Following this display, the "God-given" blessings described by the presentation announcer include, "Freedom of Speech: A right to say what we feel without fear of oppression even if it is not agreeable to others. The right to voice our thoughts on the subjects and individuals that govern our lives whether others agree or not. We have the right to express ourselves."

Finally, this halftime show ends with three astronauts from the Apollo 8 leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and a trumpet playing the National Anthem.

Up with the People halftime

If you think that the Super Bowl has always been about pop stars, think again. In 1971 and in 1982, the halftime show theme for the match was based on the band Up with the People. This fun-loving hippy group rocked funk and soul while swarms of young people danced like a flash mob.

Far from a has-been, Up with the People still performs. On their website, they proudly claim, "Long before American Idol and Glee Casts, Up with People created the genre of high energy entertainment performed by an ensemble of talented young people. …for forty years, Up with People casts have toured the globe performing for millions, including an unprecedented four Super Bowl halftime shows."

Disney takes over the Super Bowl halftime show

Over the years, the Super Bowl halftime show has had its entertainment ups and downs to say the least. 1976 was an exception with their theme for the Bicentenial of America. However, you could also say that watching marching bands and shows composed by students is not really that special. In order to boost up the entertainment, the 1977 Super Bowl took a strange turn and allowed it to be handled by Disney and the Mouseketeers. Since then, the Super Bowl halftime shows have been largely Disney influenced.

Creepiest Super Bowl music performance

While most of the Disney-based halftime shows have been a success, one of the strangest Super Bowl halftime videos comes from their 25th Anniversary. Although it was brief, in January, 1991, America was conducting their first war in Persian Gulf. For this reason, Disney and New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) did a halftime show for the Super Bowl that included a dedication to the children of the Armed Forces.

Despite their good intentions, one viewer that self-described as a NKOTB block-head found the performance to be "creepy." The weird song NKOTB performed as children raced toward them was "Step by Step" and it included the lyrics, "Step by step. Gonna get to you girl." At the end, the children race to sit in the lap of singer Jordan McKnight but shirk band mate Donnie Wahlberg.

Super Bowl's least entertaining performance

More often than not, there is not a single complaint online about the halftime shows. Top ten lists usually have to stretch their imagination to find the bottom quarter of the past 20 years of Super Bowls. Regardless, there is one exception that goes bizarre and into painful territory.

This unfortunate performance with Elvis Presto happened in 1989 and was part of a Las Vegas halftime show theme. On top of the void of entertainment the performers produced, the crowd had a lackluster approach to doing their part of the act.

In the end, we are assured that we can expect another weird Super Bowl in the near future. After all, with examples from the past 10 years like the 2004 Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction and the explosive 2007 Prince performance, we know the weirdest stuff is yet to come.

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Updated Saturday, Feb 4, 2012