Watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Amazing Janet Jackson Performance On Lip Sync Battle

For a show that basically started its life as a Tonight Show segment, the Spike series Lip Sync Battle has become a viral phenomenon, as almost every single one of the show’s performances is endlessly rewatchable. There was no exception in Thursday night’s special episode, which featured The Night Before stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie respectively taking on Janet Jackson and MC Hammer. Grab some parachute pants and check out the video below.

So many lovely things happening in this video. So many. Let’s start with Gordon-Levitt’s “Rhythm Nation” performance, though, because wowzers. Make-up and hat with fake hair attached? Check. Snazzy outfit complete with gloves and attitude? Check. Back-up dancers who are all so serious that not even The Joker would question their emotions? Check. If you can make Anthony Mackie make that face – and in a good way, unlike the New Orleans Saints’ defense – then you know you’re doing something right.

Watching any Joseph Gordon-Levitt performance lets you know that this guy goes for broke in any role he’s given. I mean, there’s no way that Premium Rush should have been a good movie, but it was. And he definitely didn’t phone this one in, bringing all the emotion necessary to make a statement through music. Just look at him go.


Absolutely perfect. Now I’m going to need to see Janet Jackson in a Funny or Die video as the kid from Third Rock from the Sun.

Now we turn our attention to Anthony Mackie, whose take on MC Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” is predictably fly as hell. (Did I do get the slang right?) While Gordon-Levitt’s moves were solidly choreographed, Mackie looks like he can pop these dance moves off in his sleep, and watching him easily makes this the best possible way to listen to this song. My bones cracked just watching him do this.


Please Mackie, don’t hurt ‘em! It’s too bad Santa Seth Rogen wasn’t a part of the background dancers for both of these performances, but maybe that’s better for everyone.

Currently in between seasons, Lip Sync Battle will return for Season 2 on Spike starting January 7, 2016, and fans can expect to see Mackie’s fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Clark Gregg and Hayley Atwell showing off their skills.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.