Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

The Gayest (And Straightest) Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Illustration for article titled The Gayest (And Straightest) Super Bowl Halftime Shows

How shocking would it be if Madonna brought gay themes to the Super Bowl halftime show? Not very. Throughout its history, the halftime entertainment has meandered from straight to gay and back again. (Click here for my homemade infographic rating the halftime shows from straightest to gayest.)

Super Bowl VII (Jan. 14, 1973): The earliest years of the halftime show usually offered traditional college marching bands or foursquare jazz and pop acts or both, as in this performance by Andy Williams, Woody Herman, and the Michigan band.

Super Bowl X (Jan. 18, 1976): The polymorphous musical-theater troupe Up With People makes the first of its four appearances, performing a Bicentennial pageant.

Super Bowl XI (Jan. 9, 1977): Disney unveils its New Mouseketeers in an awkward, squeaky-clean performance.

Super Bowl XVII (Jan. 22, 1984): A documentary captures the Disney halftime aesthetic's turn to the flamboyant: "So the first thing we see for the show is Tinker Bell flying..."

Super Bowl XXVI (Jan. 26, 1992): Minnesota's Super Bowl brought a glittering, snowflake-bedecked salute to winter, with Gloria Estefan singing and Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill figure-skating.

Super Bowl XXIX (Jan. 29, 1995): An Indiana Jones Disney theme-park promotion produced the camp spectacle of Patti LaBelle surrounded by bare-chested "primitive"-costumed backup dancers.

Super Bowl XXXI (Jan. 26, 1997): The gayest era of Super Bowl hafltime—figure skating, mass choreography, Diana Ross—ended emphatically with the asexual, undead Blues Brothers.

Super Bowl XL (Feb. 5, 2006): Ever since the Justin Timberlake nipple incident, halftime has belonged to ultra-safe arena performances from nostalgia-and-Cialis-powered mega-acts, like the Rolling Stones.


See also: Homemade Infographic: What Were The Gayest (And Straightest) Super Bowl Halftime Shows?

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