Arts & Culture News

The Most Exciting (Non-Football) Super Bowl Moments!

TEXANS CELEBRATE AMERICA - Neither of the pre-game patriotic performances achieved Whitney Houston-level kudos, but both were delivered tastefully and capably. Lindale's Miranda Lambert did some nice harmonizin' with her hubby on "America the Beautiful," and Burleson's Kelly Clarkson shared her National Anthem spotlight with a gigantic drumline and background-singing children. I'd hire her to sing at my Super Bowl. Not that I'm going to have one any time soon.

MADONNA DOESN'T SUCK AT HALFTIME - If you're complaining or getting snarky about it, you're forcing yourself to find fault. Just calling you out, proper. Madonna delivered. In spectacle, in enthusiasm, in preparedness and in song selection. "Vogue" was performed on its grandest scale ever. M.I.A. managed to avoid completely selling out by flipping a naughty bird. That afro-wig guy from LMFAO wore Madonna like a tacky shawl. Everybody won.

DEATH-AS-COMEDY DOMINATES - Vampires met their end with the aid of Audi headlights, a man got eaten by a cheetah who was mad it couldn't outrun a Hyundai, a group of Silverado-owning apocalypse survivors mourned their friend whose Ford couldn't save his life, a dog got away with senseless cat murder by bribing a witness with Doritos ... Do you need me to go on, or are you starting to see the trend here? Life is much less valuable than commerce. [Steps down from Refreshing Dial for Men soap box.]

SEX STILL ATTEMPTS TO SELL - Casual lesbianism was employed by in order to jazz up its pitch for a new dot-co domain (do people dot-care about that kind of shit?). But H&M stole everyone's thunder by casting David Beckham in a D'Angelo-"How Does It Feel"-type clip, where every part of the soccer star's undies-wearing frame was explored by the camera. Well, almost every part. Makers of the spot smartly avoided a battle of the bulge with network censors.

WORD UP TO THE CAMEOS - Elton John and X-Factor winner Melanie Amaro gave Pepsi the royal treatment in this year's big-money spot. Texas' own Words with Friends creators Paul and David Bettner got in a sly dig at American Airlines in a Best Buy ad. Troy Aikman, Steve Nash and Deion Sanders took a few dimes from Bridgestone. Will Arnett used his creepiness for comedic effect in a couple of Hulu spots. Matthew Broderick missed the golden opportunity to call up Alan Ruck in his Ferris Bueller Honda ad. But our favorite had to have been Mark Cuban's turn as the rep for a moonwalking pitbull (the dog, not the rapper) in a Skechers commercial. Cubes can do no wrong at this point. ... I know. I just fucked with fate.

CLINT EASTWOOD FOR PRESIDENT - We're 75% percent serious. His voice-over in the Dodge spot celebrating the auto industry's return was more inspirational than anything we've heard from Republicans or Democrats this year. If I weren't afraid he'd pic Leo DiCaprio as his running mate, I'd encourage Clint to run as a third-party candidate.

OTHER RANDOM OBSERVATIONS - Platinum Bud Light did realize it was using Kanye West's "toast for the douchebags" anthem in its debut ad, right? Or did it only find out about this when a million people tweeted it? ... The Coca-Cola Polar Bears have officially jumped the shark. They needed to take a break after that whole confusing-white-controversy. ... Kudos to M&M's for figuring out that the brown one can't help but look naked. Somewhere, the green one is mourning her time in the spotlight. ... You can't go wrong with cute and/or so-ugly-they're cute animals. Raise one for the exercising dog, the Bud-fetching rescue mutt Wego and Geico's wee-wee-weeeeee piggy. ... Hey, guy from the Darkness, OKGO and Motley Crue: Your ads were outrageous, but they somehow weren't as funny as warring billionaires Leno and Seinfeld fighting over an Acura. ... And, Toyota, I'd offer you a few of my own "Camry moments," but they'd actually hurt your sales. Remembering them definitely hurts my heart.

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Hunter Hauk