The Times podcast: The Super Bowl halftime show, from marching bands to ‘Nipplegate’

Shakira and Jennifer Lopez at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2020.
Shakira, left, and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on Feb. 2, 2020, near Miami.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Even if you don’t like football, you probably have opinions about the Super Bowl halftime show. Today, we look at the history of this curious spectacle, from its humble beginnings to the mega-star extravaganzas of today. And along the way, we’ll take a look at how this roughly 15-minute intermission became an unlikely reflection of American culture.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times music writer Mikael Wood

More reading:

At SoFi Stadium, Dr. Dre assembles a hip-hop dream team for Super Bowl halftime show

Janet Jackson says she and Timberlake ‘have moved on’ from Super Bowl scandal

Adam Levine thanks you for hating Maroon 5’s Super Bowl performance

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Melissa Kaplan, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.