The 'Indiana Jones' Super Bowl Halftime Show Was Worse Than 'Crystal Skull'
Indiana Jones has suffered his fair share of embarrassments over the years, from the time he got arrested for harassing a teenage donut store employee to pretty much the entirety of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Well, you can add to that list the 1995 Super Bowl halftime show. In case you either weren't alive or have blocked it from your consciousness, this was the year Disneyland unveiled its Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye ride. So to celebrate/shamelessly market the new attraction, Disney came on board as the producer of the NFL's chief spectacle, and it was ... pretty goddamn weird.
The 11-minute long segment gives you a sense of what Raiders of the Lost Ark could have been if George Lucas was a little more into musical theatre and a lot more into cocaine. Bizarrely, the halftime show was given an actual narrative; first, we see Patti Labelle, who awkwardly lip-syncs her way through a mish-mash of appropriated fashions that can best be described as "ehhh ... foreign." Then Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood show up (via parachute) and have to fight their way through a horde of turban-clad ... Ninjas? Oh, and Marion sets a dude on fire. Then they grab the Vince Lombardi Trophy (which probably doesn't belong in a museum) and run away.
Before you have time to say, "did a dude just get immolated during the Super Bowl?" the ancient temple gives way to a swank nightclub housing another ancient artifact: Tony Bennett. After his song, an elaborately-choreographed fight breaks out, and Indy and Marion are ultimately victorious. Then everyone sings "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" because The Lion King was also a thing that was popular in '95. Ultimately, despite some behind-the-scenes mishaps, the show went off without a hitch -- even though it felt like a rushed fever dream and was nothing but a glorified commercial for an amusement park. At least no one exposed any nipples.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter! And check out the podcast Rewatchability.
Top Image: LucasFilm, Disney/NFL