From 'Superbad' to 'Arrested Development,' here are some favorite onscreen sing-alongs
In this week's issue, Erica Thompson takes a look at the Karaoke World Championships. With that in mind, we thought we'd list some of our favorite karaoke performances from film and TV.
Michael Cera sings “These Eyes” in “Superbad”
Cera's version of the Guess Who track is nervously off key and purposely wobbly, but that matters not to his stoned/drunk audience, which has him confused for someone else entirely. “He's Jimmy's brother. … He's the guy with the beautiful voice I was telling you about!”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt sings “Here Comes Your Man” in “(500) Days of Summer”
Between the sweater vest and the drunken lack of inhibition, it's easily one of the more adorable versions of a Pixies track ever captured on film.
Jim Carrey sings “Somebody to Love” in “The Cable Guy”
I have a buddy who, on an almost-weekly basis for more than two years during college, would act out this scene in its entirety, so it's forever burned into my mind. “You might recognize this song as performed by Jefferson Airplane in a little rockumentary called ‘Gimme Shelter,' about the Rolling Stones and their nightmare at Altamont that night the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels had their way. Tonight, it's my turn.”
Dean Pelton and Jeff Winger sing “Kiss from a Rose” in “Community”
The green screen. Jeff's indifference. Pelton's clear infatuation. Seal. It's all so perfect.
Heath Ledger sings “Can't Take My Eyes Off You” in “10 Things I Hate About You”
Long before he was the Joker, Ledger crooned his ways into the hearts of many a teenager with this performance of the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons classic, given an unfair boost by an appearance from a full high school marching band.
Chris Tucker sings “Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough” in “Rush Hour 2”
Drawn into action by a limp karaoke version of the Michael Jackson tune, the hyperactive, helium-voiced Tucker delivers a high-energy take that does the glitter-gloved one proud.
Leslie and Jamm sing “Summer Nights” on “Parks and Recreation”
The political rivals find some common ground on this tune from “Grease.”
Justin Theroux sings “Homeward Bound” in “The Leftovers”
OK, so Theroux isn't much of a vocalist. Regardless, this performance from the great, underseen HBO series is weirdly moving, with the actor turning in an off-key take on Simon & Garfunkel that grows increasingly emotional as the yearning in the lyrics starts to hit home with the lost soul delivering them.
Bill Murray sings “More Than This” in “Lost in Translation”
Like the best of Bill Murray, his take on the Roxy Music gem is at once funny and deeply resonant, and there are few karaoke scenes I've enjoyed more except maybe…
Michael and Maeby sing “Afternoon Delight” on “Arrested Development”
Niece and uncle slowly awakening to the sexualized nature of the Starland Vocal Band track as they duet on said tune is pure comic genius.