Prince, Don Mischer, and the Halftime Comeback
  • MONDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2007

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As an institution, the Super Bowl halftime show is an iffy event. Things either go exceptionally well or horrifically bad. Aerosmith collaborates with Britney Spears one year (thumbs down), and then U2 does a touching tribute to 9/11 victims during the following Super Bowl (thumbs up; Time Magazine cover photo for Bono). Janet Jackson exposes her breast two years later (thumbs down; urge to vomit barely suppressed), but Paul McCartney comes to the rescue and resurrects the show’s integrity twelve months later (thumbs up). Off and on. Off and on. It’s always the same, except when Don Mischer is the producer.

Remember when Michael Jackson rocked the Halftime show in 1993? That was Don Mischer’s first time producing the event for the Super Bowl. It was also the first year that FOX decided not to broadcast counter-programming like they did the previous year. Michael Jackson’s power was simply too overwhelming in the early ‘90s, and trying to compete with that would’ve been a waste. The halftime show was a success, complete with a massive show of audience participation (remember those cards they held aloft to piece together giant drawings of children?) FOX never ran counter-programming again. Go Michael, and go Don Mischer.

Fast forward to 2004, where images of Janet Jackson’s breasts are still seared into the retinas of America’s TV-watching public. The Super Bowl needs a good halftime show this year. The networks are going to get some serious flak if anything else goes wrong. Enter Don Mischer and Paul McCartney, both of whom become mutually responsible for restoring everyone’s faith in the halftime show institution. The show is solid, and McCartney wisely keeps his clothes on.

The Rolling Stones’ show from last year was also Mischer’s doing, as was this year’s mammoth Prince production. He’s outdone himself with this year’s success, which included a specially-shaped stage, a slew of fireworks, and a windblown curtain that silhouetted the guitar-rocking Prince in a phallic pose. Awesome. Prince gave one of the best halftime shows in recent memory, but kudos to the man behind the scenes who made everything happen. Don, we’re down with you producing a video or two for Baeble. You game?


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