Be Bop Bamboozled
Super Bowl XXIII (1989)
The memory of this should haunt anyone who hasn't placed it deep enough in the recesses of their minds to forget about it.
The folks at Coca-Cola apparently went on a weeklong peyote vision quest when deciding how best to pitch their product during a halftime show and came up with this: A 3-D display featuring a rambling Bob Costas intro, an Elvis impersonator (Elvis Presto) who was obscure by even that modest standard, a bunch of South Florida dancers and a musical card trick that not only involved listening to almost three minutes of instructional lyrics, but keeping up with onscreen effects that can still induce vomiting and seizures.
Keep in mind that from the first Super Bowl in 1967 to when Elvis Presley died in 1977, the NFL and its Super Bowl broadcasters never bothered to invited the actual Elvis to perform at halftime. At least The Beatles were eventually represented at the Super Bowl by 62-year-old Paul McCartney in 2005. Elvis got a low-budget birthday and bar/bat-mitzvah performer who not only didn't sing Elvis songs, but put mundane instructions to music while 3-D versions of the Saved by the Bell intro flew by at six times their normal speed.
How a Super Bowl audience managed to watch this whole thing with any degree of sobriety remains a mystery. How anyone was able to explain this as "entertainment" to viewers of any age, never mind giving it the green light for a network's most-watched program of the year, is equally difficult. I was 12 when this aired and watched it with my grandmother, who was in her mid-60s at the time. She remembered when halftime consisted of the grounds crew locating lost appendages and priests blessing huge needles full of morphine jabbing them into Johnny Unitas' leg. I was embarrassed on her behalf.