Since its debut in 1967, the National Football League’s Super Bowl has provided viewers as a little diversion amidst all the tackling and running and sports-ing: the halftime show. What began as the wholesome, kitschy entertainments found at most college games, with marching bands and majorettes, has since evolved into pop-culture spectacles featuring megawatt musical guests that sometimes grab more headlines than the games themselves. So now, with 56 halftime shows in the history books, the Great Pop Culture Debate wants to determine: What IS the Best Super Bowl Halftime Show of all time?

Join Host Eric Rezsnyak and panelists Andrea Guerrero, Gary Jackson, and Jake Pitochelli as they discuss 16 of the most iconic halftime shows in Super Bowl history.


Super Bowl 2024 Halftime Show Bingo Cards

QUIZ: Iconic Super Bowl Commercials

Jock Jams Playlist

The Round 1 match-ups are:

Note: The NFL prohibits us from embedding any of the video from the actual performances. Instead we’ve linked the videos to each of the artists, so click their names for the videos. Note that most of the official videos do not seem to be available via the NFL. Do better, NFL.

Match-Up 1: Michael Jackson (1993) vs. Diana Ross (1996)

Match-Up 2: Bruno Mars w/Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014) vs. Shakira/Jennifer Lopez/Bad Bunny (2020)

Match-Up 3: Prince (2007) vs. Celebration of Soul, Salsa, Swing w/Gloria Estefan, Stevie Wonder (1999)

Match-Up 4: Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg/Mary J. Blige/Kendrick Lamar/Eminem (2022) vs. Coldplay/Beyonce/Bruno Mars (2016)

Match-Up 5: Beyonce w/Destiny’s Child (2013) vs. Paul McCartney (2005)

Match-Up 6: Janet Jackson/Diddy/Nelly/Kid Rock/Justin Timberlake (2004) vs. Katy Perry/Missy Elliott/Lenny Kravitz (2015)

Match-Up 7: Lady Gaga (2017) vs. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye w/Patti LaBelle (1995)

Match-Up 8: Kings of Rock & Pop w/Aerosmith, NSYNC, Britney Spears (2001) vs. Motown 40th (1998)

Want to play along at home?

Download the listener bracket and see if your picks match up with ours!

Looking for more related content?

Check out these other episodes from Great Pop Culture Debate:

Best Solo Musician to Come Out of a Band

Best Boy Band

Best Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon

Also make sure to check out Eric Rezsnyak’s Top 10 List of “Jump” Songs.

Have a say in future episodes!

Finally, if you want to have a say in what episodes we tackle next, vote in our Topic Polls! And we would love to have you pick your faves in the polls currently open for your votes!

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Host: Eric Rezsnyak

Panel: Andrea Guerrero, Gary Jackson, Jake Pitochelli

Producer: Bob Erlenback

Editor: Jeffery Perry

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