The Joker

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"I've been putting smiles on faces [1] since 1940!"
"The Joker is the kind of guy who will come up with a plan to kidnap a scientist and have them create a super-pheromone that will attract little old ladies to a warehouse so Joker can feed them into a woodchipper and use the resulting paste to make counterfeit money so he can buy fuel for his ice rocket that will freeze the entire city which will cause everyone to flock to his beverage vendors who will sell them hot chocolate laced with a mutagen designed to drive everyone insane."
Shamus Young, Stolen Pixels (who put it quite well, if I do say so myself...)

Well! Finally got my own page, did I? 'bout time! I was created in the forties, for Pete's sake! I've been around way longer than Superham's cousin! Why'd she get her own page first?! Well, it's not too bad, I guess... at least I can still gloat to Lexy about getting my own page first... As for that guy with the yellow ring...? He only wishes he was half as scary as me!

Oh, you were looking for information on moi? I'm flattered, really, but, uh... SHOULDN'T YOU KNOW WHO I AM ALREADY?! All right, all right, fine. Here's My Card (from the bottom of the deck of course) and the lowdown...

I am the Monster Clown hiding under your bed!

Of course, a true fan would want all the gory details fleshed out, yes? So then. There's me, and there's the Bat, two peas in a pod. I'm the better-looking pea, of course, but that's beside the point. Billy Finger and Bobby Kane, inspired by both the playing card and Conrad Veidt's deliciously chilling title character in the 1920s film The Man Who Laughs, conjured me up in good ol' 1940, back when heroes were allowed to kill, everyone Asian spoke with their R's and L's mixed up, and the art was worse than something drawn by a six-year old with crayons ('course, Jerry Robinson said he had a hand too, but that's not my department)... I gave that flying rodent a good runaround in Batman #1 (I was modest enough to give him the title...), and soon enough, I began carving out my own little niche.

But, as it turned out, that wasn't enough! No, they planned to whack me in my second appearance! Can you believe that?! But, someone (in this case, Whitney Ellsworth) came through for me, and I lived through a self-inflicted stabbing after all. So, instead of dying painfully, I only had to endure six months of agonizing hospital time! Those were the glory days... I'd show up, make a bit of trouble, kill a couple people, get foiled by Fatman, and escape at the last minute. Gambling rackets, sniping FBI agents, I've seen (and done) it all. I was even executed once, y'know. 'course, The Grim Reaper couldn't hold me, and I came back... just in time to witness the rising of the Comics Code. (Hoo... and some people thought I was evil and insane... heh heh heh...)

Maybe I should've stayed buried a bit longer, cuz, you all know what happened next. Batman and that brat Robin were joined by Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Hound, Bat-Mite (yeesh, what's next? Bat-butler?), and no one was allowed to kill ever again. And we all lived happily ever after... NOT! Then again, I can't say that it was ever boring. I was allowed to play with bigger toys—everything from my own utility belt to giant record players (where the heck does Gotham get all that stuff, anyhow?). I even managed to get all of Gotham City to marvel at my enormous BONER!

But nothing lasts forever, does it? (Save the memory of Tom and Jerry.)

Come The Bronze Age of Comic Books, I was finally allowed to roam free again, and what a joy it was! Blowing off people's heads with exploding cigars and feeding them to sharks! It seems that finally, the heads at DC Comics got brains - it was here that I got my own series! And it lasted all of... nine issues... And I had to lose every time.

*COUGH*

Ah, well, who cares about all that? The Seventies might have returned me to life, but it was The Eighties that were really my heyday. You might recall an obscure little book called The Killing Joke written by some nobody called Alan Moore. If you haven't... GET OVER THERE AND READ IT, AND DON'T CALL YOURSELF A FAN OF MINE UNTIL YOU'VE MEMORIZED EVERY WORD!

Done? Good. Less than a year afterward, DC made the historical decision of killing off Robin -- 'bout time, too. But just a little heads-up, it was Jason Todd, not Dick Grayson. Who was Jason Todd? Who cares? All you need to know is that every reader hated his guts, enough that they voted to have him die. But with an outfit like that, can you really blame them? Heck, at least thirteen of those votes came from yours truly!

Anyhoo, the poll was set up, the calls were made, and I gave poor li'l Jason a spanking he'll never forget. Rest in pieces. Then I got shot. And got trapped on an exploding helicopter. And vanished for all of a few months. And I still made it back in time for the holidays. From there on, my life's been just one giant rollercoaster ride (occasionally of the Hawaiian variety, but usually not). 'specially since I killed Jimmy Gordon's wife during that earthquake.

Hold on, where're you going? D'ya think we're done with my life? Not even close! I've poisoned all the fish on the eastern and western seaboard and tried to patent them! I've become God and brought the whole universe to its knees! I've killed Siskel and Ebert, fer cripes sake!

But no, you don't care about any of that, do you? I bet you came to this page because you were so impressed by that pencil trick. No? The dreadlocked monkey-man in a straitjacket with that sexy, sexy laugh, then? Perhaps you remember the days when I faced off with Adam West? The pointy-chinned me voiced by Mark Hamill? The meaty ol' me played by Jack Nicholson? The Silver Age-esque me? Or was it the version of me that turned into a twenty-foot tall muscleman? (Although that one didn't end too well. Object lesson on steroid use, kids!) That one voiced by some Bender...'s actor? The one with all those kid superheroes, where I was voiced by Data? Or how about those times where I was a woman?

'Course, any version of me is good as long as you don't think I'm that other psychotic, fourth-wall breaking clown[2] who works for those Marvel guys. I'm not really fond of Mr. Wilson, but I do love friending him on that Facebook thingy and asking him to "do that pencil trick". It just gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

Well, that conversation was certainly uplifting, wouldn't you say? Look at how widely you're grinning. Ooh, and check it out! Your complexion is clearing right up. And that hair...! So rich a shade of green that only your undertaker'll know for sure. And that laugh! Isn't it beautiful? Not too shabby a rhythm for a white guy!

Ohhhh, don't give me that look. You were the one that took that card from me! Sheesh, how dumb can ya get? Straighten up. It's not the end of the world. Only yours. Annnd... there you go, now you see the joke. The very biggest and bestest smile of them all.


Let's see all the places I've popped up in the media...

The ol' Classic Funny Books[edit | hide | hide all]

Live on the tube[edit | hide]

Up on that new-fangled... what do ya call it? "Internet"?[edit | hide]

My handsome face is the current page image for[edit | hide]

And here are some tropes that apply to various versions of ME:

Batsy: Filthy degenerate!
Me: Flattery will get you nowhere.

Me: Medical Report! Stat!
Doc: Y-you had a bad accident. You're a very sick man!
Me: Flattery won't save you!

The Bat: You're insane!
Me: Has it really taken you this long to notice?

    • One of my oldest cases:

Boy Blunder: You're out of your mind, Joker!
Me: Gloriously so! Isn't it wonderful?

    • And an even earlier example in The Joker's Five-Way Revenge (Batman #251). Yeah, I really like this trope.

Guanoman: Joker -- you realize you're utterly... hopelessly... insane!
Me: It's my most charming trait!

Gambol: You're crazy.
Me: I'm not... No, I'm not.

Vinnie: You're crazy.
Me: Ever hear of the healing power of laughter?

    • Later:

Vicky Vale: You're insane...!
Me: (feigning surprise) I thought I was Pisces.

Henchman: You're insane!
Me: I know. I've got a certificate and everything.

Joker: (to the organized crime community) Look, I know why you choose to have your little group therapy sessions in broad daylight...


Joker: (to the organized crime community) Soon little Gambol here won't be able to get a nickel for his grandma.


Joker: (to Batman) You just take off your little mask and show us all who you really are, hmm?


Joker: (to Batman) Does Harvey know about you and his little bunny?


Joker: (to Harvey Dent) They're schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. (referring to the police and the organized crime community alike)


Joker: (to Harvey Dent) I just took your little plan and I turned it on itself.


Ahh, that was fun, but I really should be going. I'm late for Battyman's funeral. Wish you could come, but this jet pack only holds one! Up, up... and AWAAAAAAAAYYYYYAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Notes

  1. whether they wanted any or not!
  2. I resemble that remark!
  3. There's so many better reasons...