The actor flawlessly performed the iconic song on a special holiday episode of 'Lip Sync Battle'

By Andrea Park
Updated November 20, 2015 02:40 PM
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Spike TV

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is clearly a resident of the “Rhythm Nation.”

In Thursday’s special holiday episode of Lip Sync Battle, Gordon-Levitt was pitted against his The Night Before costar Anthony Mackie while a Santa suit-clad Seth Rogen looked on. The pressure was great, but so was the reward when JGL masterfully tackled Janet Jackson‘s 1989 hit.

Sporting a full face of makeup and long, curly ponytail, the multi-talented actor performed a sharply choreographed dance with a team of equally talented backup dancers. Not only did this performance easily secure him the battle’s victory, but it could also put up a decent fight against Jackson’s original video for the song.

Earlier in the episode, Gordon-Levitt, 34, gave an equally sharp but significantly less over-the-top rendition of Usher‘s “Yeah!” and showed off the talent for keeping up with rap classics that he first displayed back when Lip Sync Battle was just an occasional sketch on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

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For his part, Mackie, 37, put up a good fight with performances of Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl” and MC Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit,” but the entire episode was – understandably – overshadowed by Gordon-Levitt’s awe-inspiring take on Jackson.

Beware, all future Lip Sync Battlers: The bar has been exponentially raised.