Best Portrayal of the Joker

Discussion in 'The Media Hub' started by SSJPhenom, Sep 14, 2017.

?

Who gave the best portrayal of the Joker?

  1. Cesar Romero Batman '66)

  2. Jack Nicholson (Batman)

  3. Mark (The Animated Series, Arkham Games, others)

  4. Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

  5. Jared Leto (Suicide Squad, DCEU)

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    399
    So just like with the Batman thread, I want to discuss with everyone who they think had the best portrayal/performance as the Joker character. There's been a few people over the years that have put on the make up and purple outfit of the Clown Prince of Crime. A lot of them have been very good or even great portrayals. What's so fascinating about the Joker character is that the Joker in and of itself is fascinating. He has no set origin, no powers, and he doesn't even hate Batman. He just likes to disrupt and cause chaos. The Joker is the kind of person that if he were to hold someone for ransom, even if the ransom demands were met, he'd still probably kill the person just cause. He's a truly sinister character and the opposite of Batman in every way. These are the people that have portrayed the Joker over the years.

    Cesar Romero(Batman 1966): Romero was the first person to put on the make-up of the Joker. This version of the character, though, is more of a prankster than an evil madman. He does evil and horrible things, but they're all for a clever joke or to make Batman look funny. At this point in time, the Joker wasn't really Batman's arch-nemesis. Romero did a very good job of bringing the Joker to life and he was one of the bright spots of the '66 Batman.

    Jack Nicholson(Batman): Nicholson is very well remembered for his role as the Joker. He played opposite Michael Keaton as the big bad in the first Batman film. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the Joker. He did a very good job of mixing Romero's camp with the dark humor and sadistic nature that the character was showing at that point in the comics. If I'm being completely honest with myself, Nicholson, IMO, was the best part of the Batman 1989 film. Sure Keaton did a great job but whenever Nicholson was on the screen he had my complete and full attention. Whenever I quote anything from that movie it's usually a Nicholson line. He really was a great Joker.

    Mark Hamill(Batman: The Animated Series, Arkham Games, and others): Yet again I'm adding a voice actor to a list of live actors. I know some don't think that voice actors deserve to be grouped with live actors, but dammit, I wouldn't put them on the list if they weren't so damn good. As good as Kevin Conroy is as Batman, Mark Hamill is as the Joker. Maybe even better. Mark Hamill doesn't just voice the character to perfection, he completely brings to life the idea of the Joker; the greater concept. Whenever I read the comics and think of the Joker in my head it's Hamill's voice that I hear. His portrayal truly is iconic.

    Heath Ledger(The Dark Knight): This is probably going to be the most popular choice; as well it should be. This was an academy award winning performance and it absolutely is the reason why the Dark Knight is so highly regarded. Not just by comic book fans but by most everybody that has seen the film. Ledger was able to take the character to the darkest place we've ever seen him. When you see the Joker in the Dark Knight, you can tell that there was something off about him. He was also physically intimidating. I, like most people, absolutely loved this version of the character and I wish that Ledger was still around to give us more of this iconic performance.

    Jared Leto(Suicide Squad, DCEU): Leto has the unfortunate task of following Ledger's wonderful performance as the Joker. That's a tall order for anyone, however, IMO, I think that Leto did a very good job. Of course, he was only in the movie for like ten minutes or so but he did a very good job while he was on screen. He brought something new and different to the character which was not quite as dark as Ledger's but still had some of the funny nature that the Joker should have. I mean, he's called the Joker for crying out loud. I feel sorry for Leto that he had to follow Ledger. He shouldn't get crucified for it though.

    Those are the choices. Pick one and discuss why you made the choice that you made. Let me know your opinions.
     
    #1
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  2. Jeff Deliverer of Mail

    Jeff Deliverer of Mail Join WZCW because writing is hip
    E-Fed Mod

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    627
    Can you imagine The Dark Knight without Ledger in his hauntingly amazing version of The Joker? It wouldn't be nearly as great. Others are fine and I don't count Luke Skywalker as one because he should belong in a different category altogether, like best voice acting of all time or something. Pitting voice actors vs live actors is kind of silly to begin with, completely different performances. One is a sybiotic sound to an animation on screen. The other is the whole performance. For that it's Heath Ledger for me, dark and disturbing. He put on an amazing performance that only he could have done. So unique and edgy with a complete 180 on Jacks -campy- version of the Joker in the Keaton version of Batman. Jack was good and introduced a darkness in the character, but Ledger completed the masterpiece.
     
    #2
    Dagger Dias and SSJPhenom like this.
  3. Spidey

    Spidey Should've Reinstated The Fox
    E-Fed Mod

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,740
    Likes Received:
    1,441
    Going with Nicholson, as his performance of the character progressed throughout the movie. He was already playing a mobster lunatic the first twenty minutes of the film, but then he dialed it up to an 11 after the vat dive. Every other Joker, including Hamill, was the clown and nothing but the clown whereas Nicholson had wiggle room to play two different personalities. We got the Joker before and after.

    Hamill's Joker piggybacked off of Nicholson's. There was nothing different to his except that he gave Joker a higher pitched voice. Even the mobster look stayed. Ledger came in like some weird anarchist and left a weird anarchist. Leto wasn't a real focus of the movie he was in so it's hard for me to consider him. Those characters didn't evolve like Nicholson's did, so I give it to him.
     
    #3
    Dagger Dias and SSJPhenom like this.
  4. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    399
    After thinking about this for awhile, I have to go with Jack Nicholson.

    I know I know, Heath Ledger is on the list, but and argument can be made that Ledger's Joker was just to dark. Don't get me wrong, his performance was top notch and out of this world, however, that's not really the Joker at the end of the day. Where was the funny side of the Joker in his performance? Where were the deadly gags and such? Ledger's Joker was just evil for the sake of being evil. Nicholson, on the other hand, captured the Joker totally and completely. He was still dark, but not too dark. He did things because they were funny and because they were evil. That's what the Joker is. Nicholson's Joker had the Joker gas. He had the acid that came out of the flower on his jacket, he made funny remarks and jokes, and he tried to take over Gotham. Not to mention Nicholson was brilliant in the role. His delivery of certain lines, for example; "Wait till they get a load of me". The look on his face when he said that and the maniacal laughter was all perfect. Nicholson had the best everything in the '89 Batman movie. Best lines, best scenes, best character, etc.

    So, for me, it's Jack Nicholson.
     
    #4
    Khalifa likes this.
  5. Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick

    Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick Dark Match Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    15
    That point never made any real sense to me, and I've seen it get brought up countless times.

    I can't imagine The Dark Knight without Ledger or the Joker because he was one of the key characters of the film. If Joker wasn't on screen, odds are characters were discussing him, dealing with the aftermath of his actions, etc.

    Also, even if it was the mafia stuff or a Harvey Dent scene, it's still an extremely rich and thrilling crime saga, magnificently acted.

    Again though, imagining it without the Joker or Ledger's performance just doesn't sit well with me. It's like you're telling to me to imagine No Country for Old Men without Anton. It's just impossible, he's way too important.

    If you're telling to simply imagine another performance then I can't, it's hard to picture with all the versatile actors out there. Who knows whether it would have been worse, just as good, or better. But Ledger was obviously ideal for the part, I don't know who Nolan's second choice would have been but I imagine it would have been great possibly in a different kind of way.
     
    #5
    Dagger Dias likes this.
  6. Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick

    Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick Dark Match Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    15
    Oh wow, I could bring up dozens of points in order to argue with you, I'll try to keep it short.

    Ledger was, indeed, closer to the character of the Joker than Jack ever was. Bare with me here.

    Where was the funny side? For the most part, we're not supposed to laugh with the Joker, he's a sick fuck. Ledger's Joker's idea of a good time was shoving a dude eye-first onto a pencil, toying with a person's body before literally hanging them off a building, trolling Batman about his relationship with Rachel Dawes, and countless small things in the script and performance(telling Gordon to please give him a moment while getting arrested, mouthing "SIX?" to the cop who told him he had killed six of his friends, laughing his ass off and humiliating his henchman who was electrocuted trying to unmask Batman, etc.). Did he laugh at his own jokes all the time like an idiot? No, but when it comes to the laughs he was the Joker.

    He was just evil for the sake of being evil? No, his whole purpose was to prove a point, that everyone can be just as insane as he is after only one bad occurrence. Sound familiar? It's the same point the Joker constantly tries to prove in the comics, most notably in the iconic Killing Joke comic. What was Jack's Joker's point again? To quote Jeremy Jahns "He falls in love or some shit." I don't even know, you might as well throw that "Evil just for the sake of being evil" quote you had towards him. He was rotten even before he became the Joker, barely any depth to his character.

    Jack's Joker had the concept, but he was barely the character from the comics, which I believe Burton even admitted he had never read one in his life. The gags, I'll concede that, he had the gags Joker would have in some of the comics. That's it. Literally all he has over Heath Ledger, who didn't even need that in order to fit into Nolan's universe.

    And finally, the backstory. Jack's Joker had a name(Jack, how convenient, considering that's what he was, Jack Nicholson dressed as a clown), killed Bruce Wayne's parents, and had a weird physical forced smile. None of that was the Joker. As for Ledger, his backstory is brilliantly kept a mystery, with different stories here and there. That's exactly how the Joker was in the comics, where he wanted and gave multiple past accounts of himself. Even in The Killing Joke, the backstory they apparently went for in the '89 Jack version, by the end of the tale the Joker admits "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I'm going to have a past, I'd prefer it to be multiple choice!" That's the Joker, and that's Heath Ledger's Joker.

    Ledger's Joker also mirrored a lot of the Joker from his first appearance in Batman #1 when it comes to his actions, but if I go into detail this'll really be a long post.
     
    #6
    SSJPhenom likes this.
  7. SSJPhenom

    SSJPhenom The Phenom of WZ

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    399
    I definitely didn't like the Joker's origin story in the first Batman movie, however, that has nothing to do with Nicholson's performance. That was the script. IMO, Nicholson still portrayed the Joker closer to the comics than anyone else has. His deranged since of humor, his use of gags to kill, and his obsession with Batman. Ledger's Joker was great, don't get me wrong, but he wasn't the Joker that I grew up reading or watching.

    You say that in the Dark Knight he was trying to prove a point, but that wasn't until the end of the movie. At first, he was just doing what he was doing just to do it. As Alfred said, "Because some people just want to watch the world burn". You brought up the Killing Joke. Even the Joker in that wonderful graphic novel differs a lot from Ledgers, because in that story his goal from the start was to prove that anyone can go insane after just having one bad day. That wasn't the Joker's motivations in the Dark Knight. He didn't really have any motivations in the Dark Knight. He was doing stuff because he could do it.

    I'm still going with Nicholson.
     
    #7
  8. King Patrick Star

    King Patrick Star K. O. T. R. 2007 -€“ Team Undisputed

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,065
    Likes Received:
    657
    I pick Mark Hamill. Not only did he play the best portrayal of Joker in the Animated Series, but the Arkham games really make you feel like you are facing the Clown Prince of Crime. I’ve only completed a handful of video games in my lifetime, and Arkham City was the most addicting game I ever played. I was so enamored by Arkham City, that I bought all of the Mattel figures based on the game. To me, all the other choices are just actors playing Joker, but Mark Hamill…or at least his voice…is Joker.
     
    #8
  9. Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick

    Dolph Ziggler's Gimmick Dark Match Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    15
    Well, that's the thing, there have been countless iterations of the character. Since we both brought up The Killing Joke, I thought Ledger captured the subtly of that version flawlessly. In The Killing Joke, the Joker was more cold than over-the-top, just like Ledger. Nicholson was excessive and acted like a clown all the time, similar to the Joker you'd see in the 70's comics. If that's your preference, that's fine, I just like the deeper version of the Joker a whole lot more, and that depth gave Ledger's Joker more of a completeness imo.

    Oh, you're right to some extent, up until he interacted and "got to know" Batman and Harvey Dent, Ledger's Joker had the sole purpose of spreading chaos and anarchy. Or at least, nothing more to it had been revealed. But in his twisted character development, he realized the only way to do that was to prove his point, that everyone can be just like him with a little push. Batman and Harvey Dent were perfect opportunities. It definitely didn't come up at the end too, the first real exploration of that aspect happened near the middle of the movie with the interrogation scene, which made it feel like natural story and character progression.
     
    #9

Share This Page

monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"