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Super Bowl XXIII halftime show

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Super Bowl XXIII halftime show
Part ofSuper Bowl XXIII
DateJanuary 22, 1989
LocationMiami, Florida
VenueJoe Robbie Stadium
ThemeBeBop Bamboozled in 3-D
SponsorDiet Coke
DirectorDan Witkowski
ProducerMagiCom Entertainment
Super Bowl halftime show chronology

The Super Bowl XXIII halftime show took place on January 22, 1989 at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida. It was entitled "BeBop Bamboozled in 3-D". It featured a 1950s theme, an Elvis impersonator, 3D effects (for the broadcast audience), and a magic trick.

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Selection of MagiCom Entertainment as producer

The NFL was looking to find new producers and ideas for its halftime shows in the years 1988, 1989, and 1990.[1] NFL officials met with several individuals, among them was Dan Witkowski, a veteran stage illusionist and owner of the small company MagicCom, [1] He did not give them specifics for a show at the meeting, but rather asked for the opportunity to give a formal presentation to them, which was granted.[1] To pique the interest of the league officials, Witkowski put a padlock on the leather-bound pitch books he sent to the member of the league's halftime show selection committee ahead of his presentation.[1][2] After his presentation, Witkowski and his company were given the opportunity to co-produce the 1988 Super Bowl pre-game show (as a dry-run of sorts) in addition to the 1989 halftime show.[1]


The halftime show created was titled "BeBop Bamboozled".[1][3]

It was decided that the show would have a 1950s theme.[1] The show featured an Elvis impersonator dubbed "Elvis Presto", played by then-Solid Gold dancer Alex Cole.[1] Despite this, not one actual Elvis Presley song was performed, and the show instead featured songs from musicals among other tunes.[2][4] Cole had not originally been the individual cast to impersonate Elvis. Rather, he was the choreographer for an individual cast, who had previously played Elvis on Broadway.[1] When that individual backed out, Cole was cast in his place.[1] The vocals of "Elvis Presto" were pre-recorded, performed by Jody LoMedico.[1]

The show featured roughly 2,000[2] South Florida-area dancers and performers.[1][3] Among the choreographers was June Taylor.[2] Donald Pippin was in charge of the music.[1]

A number of magic tricks had been considered by Witkowski.[1] It was decided that their big trip would be a large-scale card trick.[1]

The show also featured the use of 102 custom-made Harley Davidson motorcycles, as well as pink Cadillacs and fireworks.[1][2][5]

Several scenes included computer generated 3D images.[1] Prior to the game, Coca-Cola distributed 3-D glasses at retailers for viewers to use.[1] At the start of the halftime show, primary sponsor Diet Coke aired the first commercial in 3D.[1] Coca-Cola had originally planned to use the 3D Diet Coke commercial as part of the Moonlighting season finale, which was also aired in 3D, but withdrew plans due to the 1988 Writers Guild of America Strike.[1] This made the show the first 3D television event to be broadcast.[6] Coca-Cola manufactured 26 million pairs of 3D glasses, despite the Super Bowl having a much greater audience.[1]


The show began with a pre-taped introduction by Bob Costas, followed by the 3D Diet Coke commercial.[1]

The show then began with "Elvis Presto" (an Elvis Presley impersonator), the performance's emcee, appearing from inside a jukebox.[1]

Various songs were performed. Ironically, none of them were Elvis Presley songs.

Among the stunts in the show was the appearance of dancers defying gravity by leaning horizontally against parking meters.[1]

3D visual graphics were incorporated into the broadcast.[1]

A card trick was performed. Presto urged the stadium audience to pick one of four cards, and an applause meter indicated which card the audience had chosen.[1]


Critical reception

Writing for the Sun Sentinel, Jack Zink compared the show to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He also opined that the "pregame entertainment was more enjoyable".[7] Many outlets have retrospectively ranked the show as among the worst halftime performances.[8][9][10][11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Rossen, Jake (February 4, 2018). "Oral History: The Strangest Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever". Mental Floss. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mandell, Nina (24 January 2014). "25 years ago, a Super Bowl halftime show changed halftime shows forever". For The Win. USA Today. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Super Bowl History – Entertainment". National Football League. 2011. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Andrews, Travis (February 2, 2018). "From Elvis Presto to Michael Jackson: How the Super Bowl halftime show found its groove". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  5. ^ Tebbutt, Chris (2 October 2020). "Elvis Presto to Political Statements: The Growth of The Super Bowl Half Time Show!". Gridiron Hub. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  6. ^ J. Knapfel. "How an Elvis Impersonator Helped Change Super Bowl History". Archived from the original on February 13, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  7. ^ Zink, Jack (January 23, 1989). "COULD CALL IT: 'BEFLOP BAMBOOZLED' IT WAS A FINE TIME TO WAIT FOR BEER". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved February 17, 2022.
  8. ^ King, Matt (27 January 2013). "10 Worst Super Bowl Halftime Shows Ever". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  9. ^ Pevos, Edward (5 February 2017). "These trainwrecks are the 10 worst Super Bowl halftime shows ever". mlive. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Watch: The best and worst of all 51 Super Bowl halftime shows". Dallas News. 2 February 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  11. ^ Tallent, Aaron (9 February 2021). "Ranking Every Super Bowl Halftime Show". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
This page was last edited on 8 February 2024, at 03:33
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