Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe — a.k.a. the stars of Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables, a.k.a. the most important movie of 2012 or ever — sure know how to make a musical-theater geek swoon. The pair recently reunited in New York City to perform one of Les Mis‘s best-loved songs: “The Confrontation,” in which tireless Inspector Javert (Crowe) accosts the noble Jean Valjean (Jackman), who has been living under an assumed name. The duet was half serious, half silly, and all awesome, as you can see from the following video:
Of course, Crowe and Jackman aren’t the first celebrity Les Mis lovers to court the Internet by singing “The Confrontation.” In 2006, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel cemented themselves as go-to crush objects when they did an impromptu rendition of the song on the now-defunct Megan Mullally Show. (The clip even made our Must List!) Their duet is hilariously intense and intensely hilarious. If only applause hadn’t cut them off before Segel could really belt “I AM WARNING YOU, JAVERT!”:
Paul Rudd and Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain performed their own “Confrontation” that same year at a New York comedy show headlined by Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black. I can vouch for how amazing it was because I happened to be in the audience that night. When Wain suddenly broke into song, we laughed; when Rudd, whose appearance hadn’t been publicized at all, emerged in a tricorn hat and military jacket, we went nuts:
And then Rudd and Segel teamed up to do their own take on the song during their I Love You, Man press tour in 2009. The energy’s a little lower than it was in the previous clips, and their tempo is pretty off — but things pick up at the end, when the pair can’t help dissolving into giggles:
Four videos stand before you — but only one can be named The Internet’s Greatest Celebrity Javert/Valjean Confrontation. Which pair sang the song best — and just as importantly, which individual Javert and Valjean would you single out as the best performers? Personally, I’d love to see Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris confront each other in another video.