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Top 10 Lin-Manuel Miranda Moments

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Rachel Olshin There really is only one Lin-Manuel Miranda! For this list, we’re looking at moments in this American composer, playwright, and artist’s career that are not his creations. We’ve included moments like when young Lin-Manuel danced to “Footloose”, when he was on “Drunk History”, when he hosted SNL, his twitter presence, his “Wheel of Freestyle” with Jimmy Fallon andwhen he took over Mickey’s instagram for a day is 2016 to promote Moana!

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Top 10 Lin-Manuel Miranda Moments

There really is only one Lin-Manuel Miranda. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Lin-Manuel Miranda Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at moments in this American composer, playwright, and artist’s career that are not his creations. So no matter how much we love it when he performs songs from Hamilton and Moana, his performances of these works won’t appear here.

#10: Performing “To Life” as a Wedding Gift to His Wife

Sorry ladies, this triple threat is taken. In 2010, Miranda married his long time girlfriend, Vanessa Nadal and surprised her at their wedding with a rendition of “Fiddler on the Roof”’s "To Life". With their friends and family in on the commotion, Miranda’s singing, dance, and acting skills were on full display, and the smile on the bride’s face is priceless. With millions of views on YouTube, this video shows Miranda’s infectious love for Vanessa as well as his earnest devotion to musical theater and having fun. He’s the ultimate showman and husband.

#9: Guesting on “MBMBaM”

Ever wonder what it would be like to chill with your siblings with Miranda in tow? Well, listen to the podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me”’s episode featuring Lin as a guestpert. Miranda is instantly comfortable with the McElroys’ fast-pace chatter, reminiscing about his experience as a theater kid, discussing his personal success, and deciding on the worst Hollywood movies to become musicals. Miranda is an incredible conversationalist, but also a great listener, and that is what is unique about this recording. The McElroys are gushing over him as much as we are.

#8: Linstagram

Spreading his talents to the Disneyverse, Lin-Manuel took over Mickey’s Instagram for a day in 2016 to promote “Moana”, in the process creating the “Linstagram” hashtag. He used this opportunity to entertain us with pictures of his dog, Tobillo, and cover our favorite Disney songs. His posts were filled with cameos, ranging from Disney animators John Musker and Ron Clements, as well as Moana stars Dwayne Johnson and Auli'i Cravalho. Lin’s geeky persona and overall giddy swagger gave Disney’s ‘gram a fresh feel, and made us fall in love with the happiest company on earth all over again. His ability to always give the fans what they want is uncanny, and nothing made us happier than his rendition of “Gaston.”

#7: Lin’s Home Videos

Adult Lin-Manuel Miranda is pretty amazing, but childhood Lin is an absolute treasure. The many home videos Lin has shared have given us a window into the wonderful world of tiny Lin, from shirtless dance-alongs to Weird Al, to very thorough book reports, and even his early theatre role as Conrad Birdie in “Bye Bye Birdie.” Most adults can remember the mindless things they did as kids to pass the time – we’re just happy that Lin’s antics were caught on-camera for us to watch over and over. Miranda’s natural camera presence makes us feel like we’re looking at a young King Arthur, at the cusp of pulling the sword from the stone.

#6: ‘Wheel of Freestyle’ with Jimmy Fallon

Mic-check, it’s the Lin-Black Thought showdown. Fallon is known for the creative games he plays with his guests, so it was a no-brainer to have Miranda spit. Playing against The Roots’ Black Thought, Miranda raps about LGBTQ Rights, Harry Potter, and supporting Hilary Clinton during the 2 volumes of the face-off. We know that Lin can bust out rhymes, but what’s great about this performance is that we get to see the wheels of Miranda’s mind spin, seeing how he cleverly tries to come up with the next line. Unlike his freestyling on Ellen, these Fallon performances are more uncensored, as Black Thought’s talent is real competition for Miranda, which makes this a rap-battle we want to watch again and again.

#5: His Appearances on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”

It’s always special when James Corden and Lin-Manuel Miranda get together. Miranda’s first appearance was on the fan-favorite Corden segment “Carpool Karaoke,” where they got seriously into their “Hamilton” sing-along. Even though that rocks, the best part is when Miranda and Corden are joined by Audra McDonald, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jane Krakowski, and perform the musical theatre staple “One Day More” from Les Misérables. Since Lin is such a Broadway baby, though, it seemed only logical to bring him back to perform yet another stage hit on “The Late Late Show.” Baring his soul – and everything else – Lin and James stunned drivers as they performed “Hair,” much to our delight.

#4: On “Drunk History”

Being able to live out the fantasy of a kickback with Miranda, Drunk History’s Derek Waters has Lin-Manuel sit down to retell the Hamilton and Burr duel while inebriated. The episode includes lots of f-bombs, Facetime with Questlove and Christopher Jackson, and a rendition of Semisonic’s “Closing Time.” Even while under the influence, Miranda is a master storyteller. He displays his knowledge of Hamilton and Burr in the most captivating manner, and with incredible nuance for someone who’s drunk – which is more than many others can do in their drunken tales, and proves the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda.

#3: Hosting “SNL”

Live from New York, it’s Lin-Manuel Live! At least that’s how it felt when Miranda stole the show in October 2016. His monologue was epic: not only did it deliver a parody of Hamilton's "My Shot", but it also dropped many references to the 2016 presidential election. He followed his strong start with great sketches, including playing dead-on Dustin from Stranger Things. Miranda was made for sketch comedy, and unlike many other guest hosts, we could actually imagine him being a permanent player on the show. Being on SNL was his childhood dream and he plays each part like he’s a kid in a candy shop.

#2: His Twitter Presence

In a digital age that has many Generation Xers run for the hills, Miranda embraces social media, and more specifically, the small blue birdie. He uses his Twitter to connect with his fans, and with his incredible turn of a phrase, he keeps us captivated with his funny stories, little quips, and family videos. But what’s really refreshing about Miranda is that he devotes his Twitter to spreading good feeling and making his followers feel loved. He’s a true role model to us all, and any tweet from him is always pure gold.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Helped His Dad Fulfill His “Sound of Music” Dreams

2016 University of Pennsylvania Commencement Address

#1: His “Love Is Love Is Love” Speech

The 2016 Tonys was one of the most anticipated events of the season. However, only hours before the show was supposed to go live, the Orlando nightclub shooting at Pulse resulted in the deaths of 49 people – excluding the perpetrator. As the country mourned, Lin-Manuel made sure to bring that moment to his personal success. While Lin has been known to have made some incredible acceptance speeches at past award shows, this one was written in sonnet form, and emphasized the importance of tolerance as well as the fragility of life. This speech was clearly from his heart, with tears of pain and hope running from his eyes. In this moment, everything we admired about Lin culminated into a single emotion: love.


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