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James Johnson
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 1:24pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

For the upcoming release of THE JOKER, The Washington Post has ranked their list of the iconic Batman villian.


For me, it's:

Mark Hamill
Cesar Romero
Then everyone else......

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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Mark Hamill is very much THE Joker. But where non-cartoon versions are concerned, and despite his being too short and pudgy to be perfectly accurate...Jack Nicholson all the way. He was so much fun to watch. And he was portrayed just right -- not as a lunatic in the strict sense, but a gangster with "crazy ideas." ("I am the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist!")

I didn't even mind that Nicholson's Joker had a name and an origin. It led to very entertaining moments. "Jack? Jack is dead, my friend. You may call me...JOKER."

<Jack Palance gets shot to death>

"HA HA HA HA HA! Oh....what a day...."


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Brian Miller
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I still enjoy Nicholsonís version. Never cared for Ledger in the role. Romeroís is what it is. 
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Steven McCauley
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

When I think of the Joker, Romero is who I think of first, since he was my first.  (Same with the Batmobile -- the 60's version is the Batmobile to me.
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 2:46pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Mark Hamill
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 4:35pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I've never seen the Joker on GOTHAM (dropped the series three episodes in) and obviously haven't seen THE JOKER yet but apart from that I pretty much agree with the Post's ranking.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 5:12pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Cesar Romero for me. The way he played him going from Silly to serious and back again within seconds strikes a chord with me. Yes on close ups I cannot avoid looking at his upper lip.

A version from childhood was on the BATMAN/SUPERMAN HOUR. Voiced by Larry Storch. Not particularly memorable though.
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William Costello
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Rolling Stone has a similar article on their website today.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 02 October 2019 at 9:10pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Romero came closest to the character I read in the comics.
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 12:36am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Only taking performance, and not appearance, into consideration:

Caesar Romero
Mark Hamill

Then everyone else, like James said. #3 isn't even close to #2:

Jack Nicholson
Jeff Bennett (THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD series)
Jared Leto 
Larry Storch 
Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger is overrated. Was it a brilliant performance? Yes. Was it the Joker? Not really. The only moments in my mind where he seemed anything like the Joker were "Want to see a magic trick?" and the multiple origins. Aaron Eckhart did a better job as Two-Face than Ledger did as the Joker, but Ledger gets the praise because of his untimely death and because he was the main villain.

If I haven't listed others (ie, BEWARE THE BATMAN and GOTHAM), you can assume I've not seen them. And in the case of the new Joaquin Phoenix movie, I don't plan to.


Edited by Brian Floyd on 03 October 2019 at 12:36am
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 12:38am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

For me it`s also Cesar Romero then Jack Nicholson, i
think Ledger`s version was too crazy and the make-up was
awful. It seems he`s the critics choice, though.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 03 October 2019 at 1:52am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I genuinely enjoyed Nolan's THE DARK KNIGHT the first time I saw it for the level of seriousness everyone brought to the game. They were legitimately making a Batman film with the same gravity and tone they would if they were doing a SEVEN or SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. The result... is mixed. I recently read someone either here or on FB describing it as TROLLEY PROBLEM: THE MOTION PICTURE, which I found hilarious. The script makes only about as much sense as any other Batman film. The Joker had so many back-ups to his back-up plans he may as well have outfitted penguins with rockets.

Overall, I like the tone of it, but the film itself...? I have not gone back to watch it again. Part of that is because the Joker in that film is a credible film bad guy of the over-the-top variety so popular among psychos these days, but otherwise, is unlikable and only as clever as the film tells us he is, because he himself has little to offer by way of evidence. I get the sense that he is walking into the scene and asking for a script, reading from it, and then going for it in some actor-y sort of deliberately interesting way of saying those lines rather than, you know, being in the scene, responding to events, or making things happen. He always seems to be wandering in from the make-up trailer.

So... my favorites? That is a bit challenging. I'm not a Joker fan, so none of them have that "Wow!" factor of seeing my guy up there on the screen. 

Nicholson's is memorable and nearly iconic so many years hence. He's a lot of fun to watch, even as the movie itself is a paper-thin confection he's soft-shoeing his way through. It's a fun character if not exactly the Joker.

I was just talking with a friend about the many other candidates cited at the time as possible, more age-appropriate Jokers (Willem Dafoe, Danny Elfman, my pick Jere Burns, et al) and saying that had they passed up a chance to get Nicholson for the part, all we would have been hearing from fandom since was how impossibly amazing and perfect he would have been and how could they have been so stupid stupid stupid as to let that get away from them? 

I think Nicholson did well and had a grand time of it, letting all of us in on the fun as well. 

So, he's probably my top pick. Mark Hamill's would be my second, because while I enjoyed that one more on a more consistent basis, he's still doing "less" not appearing onscreen himself. It's lame and voice actors may hate me for it saying it, but really, acting in blue jeans and whatever t-shirt you threw on this morning is not as demanding overall as learning the blocking, sitting in make-up, enduring costume tests, and then going out there and doing it. I love Mark Hamill's Joker, but I saw Nicholson do the part, and I've not seen Hamill do it. I did see his Trickster on the Flash and I'm still sticking with Nicholson as my first choice.*

I enjoy Caesar Romero in the part a great deal. He's a hoot. Definitely would be my top pick if not for the other two. 

Filmation's animated Joker from both the Sixties show and the late-70's revamp with Bat-Mite was almost exactly the character from the comics of my childhood. If the cartoons themselves had been better, I'd be rating that version higher. And really, having seen some recently, they're not as bad as you might remember. A couple were actually good.

I don't specifically recall seeing the Joker on BRAVE AND THE BOLD but I like the old-school character design they have for him. I haven't seen as much of that show as I'd like to. I bought them all at one point and then gave them to a friend as a gift. Maybe the next time I'm over at his place, we can watch some.

I didn't see Jared Leto in SUICIDE SQUAD. Why go to a bad movie? I do get that there's a sense of obligation related to these films just so, as a fan, I can discuss the interpretations and weigh in on various conversations, but it doesn't move me enough to put myself through the chore of watching some of these things. I also haven't seen JUSTICE LEAGUE, most of AGENTS OF SHIELD, or pretty much any of the CW shows. I'd rather enjoy myself when I watch something than have to do homework.

* I also saw him as the Divine Rod on SON OF THE BEACH, and he's lucky I'm not knocking him to third based on that.


Edited by Brian Hague on 03 October 2019 at 2:06am
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