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The 17 Most Absurd Super Bowl Halftime Moments Of All Time

The Super Bowl halftime show is ostensibly something the whole family can enjoy, and yet it’s so consistently, totally weird.

17. We’ll kick it off with the earliest chronologically: In 1991, New Kids on the Block let the little children come to them. Hey, kids.

From Super Bowl XXV

16. In 2001, Ben Stiller pretended to be halftime coordinator Timothy Swackhammer during a weird introductory skit —

15. — where Adam Sandler danced like this and told NSYNC they were forgetting “the streets.” Neither man ever worked again.

From Super Bowl XXXV

14. Gwen Stefani belly-danced while Sting sang “Message in a Bottle” in 2003, which is like moshing to smooth jazz.

13. The Black Eyed Peas made least-famous member Taboo wear this blinking suit, which was possibly a complicated LCD message to aliens, in 2011.

12. In 2012, M.I.A. gave the audience the finger because she’s a rebel (who, in exchange for financial compensation, performed at the most heavily corporate-sponsored event that’s ever existed in human civilization).

From Super Bowl XLVI

11. That same year, even the Super Bowl was not large enough to accommodate Madonna’s ego. To be fair, this is the form of transportation she uses at all times anyway.

10. From that same horrible Black Eyed Peas show, Slash and Fergie performed “Sweet Child o’ Mine” together, an event so atrocious that everyone agreed it would just be better if we pretended the 1980s never happened.

9. This weird-as-hell Indiana Jones skit happened in 1995, during which an off-brand Indy fought native-stereotype villains and then ran away with the Lombardi Trophy.

From Super Bowl XXIX

8. Bruce Springsteen’s set in 2009 was actually fairly normal until he semi-accidentally attacked his groin with a camera, leaving viewers of a certain age feeling dizzy and elated.

7. Jim Belushi, brother of John, joined Dan Akroyd and John Goodman in eradicating the remaining legacy of the Blues Brothers in 1997.

From Super Bowl XXXI

6. And then James Brown, one of the greatest performers of all time, had to follow them. They made James Brown come on after James Belushi.

5. In 2007, Prince made one of history’s greatest shadow puppets with his guitar.

From Super Bowl XLI

4. After Madonna got off that crazy throne thing, some dude with a ‘fro bounced up and down on a wire while she watched him and fake-danced.

3. Following the Ben Stiller/Adam Sandler skit, Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly all performed at the SAME DAMN TIME. The song? Eazy-E’s “College Girls Are Easy.” (Not actually.)

It was actually Eazy-E’s “Nuts On Ya Chin.”

2. “Elvis Presto” (Elvis Presto!) did a totally inscrutable card trick that involved an awesome outer-space backdrop and everyone in the audience taking the cushions out from under their seats way back in 1989.

1. And finally: of course.

Thanks, 2004.

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