Pick Your Joker

Posted by sithfrog (898 posts) - - Show Bio

I have no doubt that I am not the first person to ask this question and will by far not be the last, but who has played the best Joker throughout all the various mediums the Clown Prince of Crime has been portrayed?

One could make a case for many of them and obviously personal choice is the ultimate deciding factor.

I am a die hard Marvel fan, but just because I don't read any DC titles regularly, doesn't mean that I don't have a great deal of respect for many of the DC characters. By far, Batman is one of the best characters in all of comicdom and in my opinion, a lot of that has to do with the quality of his rogue's gallery. And when you think Batman, how can you not almost automatically think of the Joker?

While showing up in countless animated series, video games, and movies I think we can all agree that four people really have been stand outs as the Joker. All have their good points, while some have their drawbacks as well.

Cesar Romero- While obviously not the most deranged Joker out there (besides not shaving his mustache making it visible under his make-up), Romero brought a certain fun to the campy 1960's Batman TV show. Being the anti-Batman in a way, Romero's over-the-top cackling added a certain charm to a campy, but loveable TV classic.

Jack Nicholson- Nicholson, a fantastic actor, brought the true essence of the Joker's deranged mind to the screen in Tim Burton's 1989 film "Batman". Combining the ruthless mob-boss, psychopathic killer, and deadly humor, this Joker set the bar high for future actors. Besides also being the thug that killed Thomas and Martha Wayne, this Joker brought us the often quoted line "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

Mark Hamill- Luke Skywalker took on the voice of the Clown Prince during the 1990's beginning in the amazingly done "Batman: The Animated Series". While not able to fully explore the depths of the Joker's twisted psyche, Hamill was able to still bring forth an amazing blend of crazed madman and calculating mastermind. No wonder he continued voicing the character in many more animated DC shows.

Heath Ledger- The Academy Award winning performance by the late Ledger is considered by many to be the best portray of the Joker ever. Ledger by far was able to capture the twisted anarchist that the Joker is even without the over the top use of gimicky "toys". He was able to bring his own brand of chaos to Gotham City that truly tested the Dark Knight to his limits. The only unfortunate thing about Ledger's Joker is that we will never again be able to enjoy it.

So, while I know that many others have played the Joker and played him well (I personally enjoyed Jeff Bennett on "Batman: The Brave and the Bold"), these four actors to me are some of the best. Depending on my mood, I could easily pick either Mark Hamill or Heath Ledger as my favorite (or occasionally Nicholson, but probably not Romero). I only hope that we continue to see actors, writers, and directors who pay the proper respect to one of the greatest villains of all time!

#1 Posted by Deranged Midget (17961 posts) - - Show Bio

Mark Hamill is by-far the most spectacular Joker to date. His most recent work on the Arkham series especially solidifies it giving the character a slightly darker feel as opposed to TAS. Heath Ledger was also brilliant as Joker and it's sad that he passed away. I would've loved to see him further portray the character.

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#2 Posted by Joygirl (19951 posts) - - Show Bio

Man, Kevin Michael Richardson gets no love. He was really great. But seriously, Hamill wins effortlessly. There is really no question as to who the best is -- when I read Joker in comics, I hear Hamill's voice, the same with Conroy and Sorkin. And you can't spell Mark Hamill without ARKHAM.

#3 Posted by JokerFanHAhaHA (15 posts) - - Show Bio

CROWN goes to Hamill, He was funny, he was cooky, he was corny, but at the same time he could be TERRIFYING. He's a guy who would smile and laugh his ass off while burning your house down and kicking a bunny. and we love him for that.

Second place is Kevin michael richardson: He's got a GREAT talent for Joker, and it's a shame people judge him before he gets a chance.

#4 Posted by Rumble Man (11073 posts) - - Show Bio

Hamill takes this hard, like beat up old batman in robin's body hard

#5 Posted by The_Tree (7931 posts) - - Show Bio

Mark Hamill, no contest.

#6 Posted by timsamaniego (2 posts) - - Show Bio

Heath Ledger by far, then Mark Hamill

#7 Posted by TheOptimist (681 posts) - - Show Bio

Hamill is the voice that I hear whenever I think of the Joker. Even with Ledger's absolutely brilliant portrayal, which I'd tentatively call "better" the Hamill version is the one that'll stick with me forever.

And that laugh... God that laugh... so good.

#8 Posted by The_Eurythmic_King_of_Nowhere (33 posts) - - Show Bio

I love how Mark Hamill never actually "played" the Joker (just voiced him) and yet still he is the undisputed crowned prince of Clown Princes. Skywalker for the win!

#9 Posted by Stronger (4948 posts) - - Show Bio

@timsamaniego said:

Heath Ledger by far, then Mark Hamill

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