2. Early Super Bowls didn’t include elaborate halftime performances.
The first Super Bowl, held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on January 15, 1967, featured a halftime performance by the marching bands from Grambling University and the University of Arizona. They were supplemented by majorettes, the drill team from Anaheim High School, and a demonstration of the Bell jet pack. Pigeons were released, as were 10,000 balloons. The Grambling band returned for the halftime show during Super Bowl II. An early jet fly-by, meant to augment the performance of the National Anthem appeared for the fifth Super Bowl. The jets appeared more than five minutes behind schedule. By the mid-1970s, Super Bowl pregame and halftime shows were more elaborate, though still often bland in nature. The singing group Up with People made several appearances.
For the 26th Super Bowl (the pretentious use of Roman numerals presents an inconvenience to both writer and reader) the popular television program In Living Color scheduled a broadcast to coincide with halftime. Ratings for the game dropped sharply, an event noted by the NFL and its advertisers. The NFL began to schedule major performers attractive to younger audiences. Since then, halftime performances have been major events themselves, and have included Paul McCartney, Prince, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga, and others. Michael Jackson’s performance in 1993 produced halftime television ratings which exceeded those of the game itself. As of 2021, it remains the most-watched of the Super Bowl halftime shows.