The Very First Big Game Halftime Show
The first Super Bowl wasn’t even called the Super Bowl at the time that it was played. The date was January 15, 1967 when the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs took the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. It was retroactively renamed Super Bowl I.
The Packers handily defeated the Chiefs by a score of 35-10 on that sunny afternoon and, three years later, the Super Bowl trophy would be named for Green Bay’s legendary coach, Vince Lombardi. Another NFL tradition would be established that day: the elaborate halftime show.
Justin Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in Minneapolis this Sunday, and you can bet it’ll be big. Back in 1967, the halftime festivities were considerably more quaint with the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, Grambling State University Marching Band, trumpeter Al Hirt, and Anaheim High School Drill Team and Flag Girls. In fact, most of the Super Bowl halftime shows featured marching bands until 1991 when New Kids on the Block snagged the spotlight. From that year forward, pop stars have always been the featured performers at midfield, with only occasional inclusion of a marching band.
Despite lacking the star power of more contemporary Super Bowl halftime shows, that first production in 1967 still packed some punch in its production values. The archival video isn’t great, but you’ll get the idea.