Why the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show stinks

February 3, 2012

And a plea to bring back Up With People 😉

In a country best known as the entertainment capital of the world, our Super Bowl halftime shows stink and it’s time to rework the old, tired format of hauling out an aging singer or band and putting on a fake concert, complete with paid fans swaying listlessly while holding up phony cigarette lighters.

America is the land of ingenuity. The people who brought you the iPhone, 3-D TV, and entertainment streamed directly to the palm of your hand. But when it comes to Super Bowl halftime shows, we go blank, resorting to the same old been-there-done-that.

A monkey could stage this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Just contract a staging company and lighting company. Buy some canned fireworks. (My favorite site is www.BigFireworks.com). Do a deal with a fading star desperate to restart her career, and have her lip sync her way through two songs we’ve all heard too many times before — usually while on elevators or treadmills — along with an awful new one from her upcoming CD. (Wow, CDs. How quaint!)

America deserves better and so too does the world. Today, entertainment is one of America’s largest exports, a $100 billion international business that sells, licenses, and distributes everything from reruns of “Three’s Company” to the Lana Del Rey hype machine.

We might struggle to build good cars, and don’t even try to manufacture TVs, computers, or cellphones. But when it comes to exporting the Kardashians, we are the undeniable global leaders. Heck, while our political system is gridlocked, our economic interest in entertainment allowed us to reach across the ocean, throw Kim Dotcom in prison, and close down MegaUpload — all to protect that interest.

So you would think such talent would embrace a worldwide platform like the Super Bowl halftime show, the most watched TV event in the history of mankind, where our creative class can showcase our collective talent and tattoo our preeminence on the global consciousness each and every February.

Nah, let’s call Madonna.

She hasn’t been up to much in the past 15 years. And hey, she’s bound to do it for free just for the exposure. When I caught wind Friday that Madonna’s hamstring injury might prevent her from lip syncing this weekend, I thought, finally, the curse is broken.

Surely they will have to do something different. A new idea. Something bold. Maybe 10,000 Chinese playing drums. Or CGI fireworks. A few hundred baby grand piano players. Monkeys riding dogs or anything with elephants. The Geico cavemen for Christ’s sake. Please. Something. Anything. But not another aging singer or band forcing us to yearn for lingerie bowl.

But alas, Madonna recovered. Her return is our loss, setting the stage for another disappointing Super Bowl halftime show. Next year? Neil Diamond!

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