Crowning the Clowned Prince of Gotham
Some go method, some use their craft and some even refuse to shave off their moustache. But as the Highlander once said - "there can be only one". Firstly we're taking a look at 11 of the most iconic on-screen adaptions of The Joker and then once and for all we will crown one of them the Clowned Prince of Gotham!
The 11 Jokers I've looked at span television, movies and video games. My rankings are largely based on how each actor has brought the character to life and then the visual design on the Joker himself.
11 | Michael Emerson - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
When I think villains, Benjamin Linus (played my Michael Emerson from Lost) is right up there. Unfortunately though, his version of the Joker doesn't quite do the same for me.
10 | Jeff Bennett - The Brave & The Bold
The Jeff Bennett Joker is more of a silver-age design. Even though I'm a big fan of the 1966 Batman style, this particular animation and voice doesn't really work for me.
9 | Brent Spinner - Young Justice
Brent Spinner's younger version of the Joker doesn't quite have the 'depth of crazy' I'm looking for in a good Joker, although you can see from the artistic style where this Joker heavily draws his influence from.
8 | Kevin Michael Richardson - The Batman
Probably the most unique looking Joker on the list, Kevin Michael Richardson pulls-off the deranged and insane character well. Again, although this isn't my preferred version, it's good to see different artistic licence used.
7 | Joe DiMaggio - Batman: Under the Red Hood
Joe DiMaggio's Joker borrows heavily from Mark Hamill's Joker, but at the same time DiMaggio makes the character unique enough to stand on it's own. This particular version of the Joker is 100% bad-ass.
6 | Troy Baker - Arkham Origins
Troy Baker's Joker is the only video game inclusion in my list but I couldn't help including this incarnation of the character. Incredibly voiced, disturbingly creepy and beautifully designed - If there is such a thing with this maniac!
5 | Jared Leto - Suicide Squad
Love him or hate him as the Joker, I believe we haven't seen the best that Jared Leto has to offer yet. I'm going all-in by saying there's a lot of room to grow here. The character design alone is enough for me to put him at number five in my list.
4 | Cesar Romero - Batman
This is probably not where most people place Cesar Romero in their Joker rankings but for me, Romero was the first Joker I was ever exposed to as a child. This particular incarnation of the Joker was always a pleasure to watch. You also have to give Cesar Romero credit for refusing to lose the moustache at any point in the make-up process.
3 | Jack Nicholson - Batman
"Have you ever danced with the devil in a pale moon light?"
Jack Nicholson's Joker was the first Joker I experienced after Cesar Romero in the 1966 Batman TV series. Jack Nicholson feels like he's just as likely to be playing himself as he is a fictional character. This version of the Joker is what brought the much needed edge to the movie versions of comic book characters that was previously missing.
2 | Mark Hamill - The Killing Joke
If you grew up watching the Batman Animated series then without a doubt Mark Hamill will be your Joker. Mark Hamill has the voice and laugh down to a tee. He's the big gun of Jokers and has voiced the character on hundreds of occasions in movies, video games and TV shows. To check out how he stacks-up, take a look at 'The Killing Joke' movie.
1 | Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Probably the most iconic Joker of our time, Heath Ledger shows the world what can be done with the character when you truly go method.
Heath Ledger's Joker not only evolves the character beyond recognition but makes him the most enjoyably disturbing villain to ever grace our screens.
RIP: Heath Ledger - World's greatest Joker and Night Gathers Crowned Prince of Gotham.