Friday, August 19, 2016

The HAHAHA Joker List

With Suicide Squad now in theaters, it's as good a time as any to follow up my Super Duper Batman List  with a ranking of Joker performances! Easily one of the greatest comic villains of all time and a long time favorite of mine, many have tried to fill those spiffy clown shoes. But how did they do? 

The Good
1. Mark Hamill - Batman the Animated Series and so so many others. Much like Kevin Conroy, when I see the Joker in comic form Mark Hamill's voice is what I hear. And every time he has portrayed the Joker he has done a dynamite job. His voice is cocky and intelligent sounding, yet maniacal all at the same time. How quickly he goes from normal to insane, and how quickly Hamill can just melt into the character is superb.

2. Cameron Monaghan - Gotham. Hands down the finest live action Joker we have seen yet. Monaghan, known so far only as Jerome, is not only the closest to the comics we have seen yet, but also the closest to Mark Hamill's portrayal. And he hasn't even donned the make-up or purple suit yet. His laugh and even the way he carries himself is the live action Joker fans have always wanted. If Gotham keeps up the pace and allows Monaghan to fully become the Joker, he could easily become the high water mark for Joker performances.

3. Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight. Ledger was super spiffy amazing. It's as simple as that. One of the coolest on screen villains ever seen. And probably the grooviest on this list. So why is he number 3? It's cause as awesomely fantastic as he was, his take on the Joker was so out in left field, so unique, it was almost its own thing. Like a brand new character. Or a Joker from Earth 17. Either way, fantastic take and fantastic character. Truly the stand out of the Nolan Batman films.

4. Cesar Romero - Batman TV series. Romero was the first live action Joker many of us had seen. I remember that summer so well. The disappointing Tim Burton had just come out and many of us were still stinging from that. But then the Family Channel starting rerunning Batman '66 at 11 o'clock each night. I for one just fell in love with the cartoon come to life series. And Romero's Joker, much like the show, was quirky and fun. And best of all, he painted his mustache white cause he wouldn't shave for the role. He also had one of my favorite Joker laughs.

The Bad 

5. Jack Nicholson - Batman '89.  To be fair, I'm not a Tim Burton fan for the most part and I really don't like his Batman movies. I'm also not a fan of Jack Nicholson. So those factors could be a big part of it, but I just didn't like Nicholson's performance. It was too hammy and over-the-top, but not in a good Joker-like way. It all boils down to the fact that Tim Burton isn't a comic fan. His almost disdain for the source material shows through.

The Stupidly Horrible 

6. Jared Leto - Suicide Squad. I knew going in that Leto's Joker was probably the stupidest looking character adaption of anything ever(sorry Batman suit nipples). He looked like a back-up gang member in one of the Schumacher Batman films. Whoever had the idea to make the Joker hip hop should be fired and never allowed to even watch a movie again, nonetheless work on one. But, I went in with an open mind. Stupid looking or not, he might do a good job, I rationalized. And trust me, I am VERY pro-DC. I loved Batman v Superman and really wanted Suicide Squad to be good.

My hopes were in vain. Dashed like a defective canister of Joker Toxin. Leto's Joker was as terrible as it looked. He reminded me of Macaulay Culkin in Party Monster.... if Mac was really into ICP and very very very addicted to crack. He wasn't scary or maniacal, just weird and uneven. And Leto clearly wasn't used to the "grill" cause it made him talk weird and he was hard to understand some of the time. His Joker laugh sounded like something out of Revenge of the Nerds. I read the other day most of the cuts the studio made to the film were Joker scenes. Well no wonder! Clearly they understood how awful he was and how in five years time this teenie booper pandering joke will be just that....a joke!

Worth Mentioning

7. Larry Storch - Scooby Doo. Probably the very first time I had ever seen the Joker was on the Scooby Doo episode the Caped Crusader Caper.  I don't recall much about the episode or Storch's performance, but the scene on the covered bridge stands out in my mind.

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up Rob. I feel that a lot of Jacks's performances haven't aged very well.