If you’ve not already familiar with who “The Joker” is, I’m sure he’d have some pretty choice words for you. To put it simply, he’s the arch nemesis of The Batman. If you don’t know who Batman is, you should stop right here.
But, the Joker is an incredible character. He was created way back in 1940 by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson (although this is slightly disputed on who the real creator is) and made his appearance in a Batman Comic. Over the years the character has evolved from a dark psychopath, to a more campy and goofy character in the 50’s, and then to more darker tone in the 70’s, which is the character we’re all so familiar with today.
While there are several origins to the Joker – the most commonly adopted one is where he falls into a tank of acid, the resulting disfigurement, drives him insane. His appearance is often portrayed as someone with green hair, pained red smile on his face, and white paint across his face. In essence, he’s considered the perfect adversary to the more sullen, brooding and mono-toned colored Batman. While The Joker has no super human abilities, he uses some rather insane weapons like spraying acid out of a flower on his coat, or razor tipped playing cards, guns with boxing gloves in them, deadly joy buzzers etc. Everything you can imagine a clown would own..but just deadlier.
Now coming to the movies, it’s easy to see how difficult it is to portray such a character – but thankfully on the big screen – we’ve had the brilliance of Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger portray the character in a new light that we’ve never seen before and quite literally owned the role. We’re also hoping that Jared Leto, brings something special to it…and by the looks of the trailers, he certainly might.
We now take a look at 10 instances where The Joker has given us his brilliance with quotes, quips and just his insanity. These are only from the 2 movies in which we’ve had the Joker so far, Batman, and The Dark Knight.
10. You Can Call me Joker
When Nicholson, first revealed himself as The Joker – that tone of voice, was enough to establish his presence in the role. Was it better than Heath Ledger? Hard to say, but this gets the spot for doing it brilliantly first.
9. Hit a Guy with Glasses
It’s insanely creepy that he can still joke through the point that he’s going to his ass handed to him. Sure there are several other ones that Ledger shines in, but again, based on doing this first, was just mind-blowing.
8. Madness just needs a little push
Taken slightly from The Killing Joke, Heath Ledger’s Joker, shows how far away one is from insanity. In this case…just one little push, and it drives you down a path of no return.
7. Life’s Good.
The point when you see someone like this…and he says life’s been good to him…you run. Jack Nicholson did this brilliantly sans face paint… and it was scary to see that the smile was well…real…and it was creepy as hell!
6. Do I look like I’m Joking?
Many claim that this is particular dialogue was the inspiration for Heath Ledger’s “Why so serious?”. That cold glazed look that Nicholson pulls off so well, is enough to give you the creeps. His ability to move from serious to funny to scary was incredible and really brought out all the dimensions of the character.
5. Live Without Rules
What kind of mad man would impart wisdom such as this while getting his ass whipped by a man dressed as a bat. That’s right. Heath Ledger’s Joker itself was legendary, but he drops these little dialogues through the movie which makes his character crazy at another level.
4. Whatever Doesn’t Kill You…
This was the first time in the Dark Knight, that we actually saw Heath Ledger’s Joker…and it was insanely brilliant. The close up shot and the dialogue delivery, coupled with the intricate lines and details on his face, is enough to be sold on the fact that he means business.
3. The Last Moments
What set Heath Ledger apart from Jack Nicholson was the fact that his character would not only dabble in insane babble and do all kinds of crazy, but a lot of what he said would strike a chord so deep, that you’d begin to wonder if he’s a genius. This dialogue was meant to irk and instigate an ass-whipping…and it worked. Well, worked out well for The Joker at the end of it.
2. Dance With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight?
One of my personal favorites, and the way Nicholson delivers the dialogue is so seamless, yet terrifying to know what comes next. When I first heard this as a child, it gave me nightmares just thinking what the scene would be like…. Try and imagine…Cold night with clear dark skies, bright moonlight, paled by passing through trees, and a lady dressed in nearly see through white, with a tattered scarf, dancing with a half man, half monster with hooves, waltzing across the courtyard that’s checkered with black and grey marble tiles. Can you imagine? Yeah. Sleep well tonight.
1. Why So Serious?
This is the dialogue that defined the Joker in the Dark Knight. Why so Serious? It’s one of the most popular quotes of our time, and what it did for the character, what really bring him into a whole new level of seriousness. While we all know he’s pretty badass in the comics, Jack Nicholson’s character lacked the depth that Ledger brought. And the “Why so Serious?” line cemented his place.
While we picked these, there were some pretty amazing ones that we had to choose from, some of them are below:
To wrap up, I’m pretty sure there are many more that you’d like to see and many more that you believe should be here. Please let us know in the comments about our list, and if you think we’ve missed any great ones.
We can’t wait to see what Jared Leto brings to this role!