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Jack Nicholson is the BEST Joker

The title of this article may come across as controversial to some readers, but hear Buzzkill out! This article will exclude all animated, television, and video game adaptations. That means no to Mark Hamill, Cameron Monaghan, and Troy Baker. This article is about the man, the myth, the legend that is Jack Nicholson. Including other live-action film Jokers. No more filler, let’s cut to the chase to why readers are here…


1.) Joker Just Want To Have Fun

Joker is literally a mad clown that commits heinous acts of violence against Gotham City with an always devilish grin and sinister laughter. Nothing more, nothing less. Ever since the Nolan interpretation of The Clown Prince of Crime audience and fans alike have been spoiled with this angsty-dark version of the villain. Which has given a false narrative that Joker must always be a terrorist that wears clown makeup, spreading chaos in the name of rebellion against society. We forget the Joker’s trademark is HUMOUR! He’s originally a gangster clown of Gotham City that commits crimes in outlandish/cartoonish manners which Nicholson expressed so perfect on screen. He’s constantly using puns, dressed in vibrant attire and using silly weaponry in his crimes. In Batman 1989 it looks like Nicholson is having a killer time playing the character more than any actor has on the big screen. Make Joker fun again.

2.) Deadliest Joker

Fans are mesmerized by the terrorist nature of Ledger’s Joker or the mentally abused/mentally unstable Phoenix’s Joker. Sometimes it comes straight down to selective memory and lack of knowledge because the viewer has never watched Batman 89′. Yet, as rightfully outlandish Nicholson’s Joker was, he was an equally deadly-creative foe for the Caped Crusader. From killing a man by throwing a feather calligraphy pen like a dart into his throat. To electrocuting a man into a crispy chicken with a hand buzzer. Releasing poisonous gas into a restaurant and releasing the infamous Smylex product that took multiple lives. On Youtuber’s, Mr. Sunday Movies video titled – THE JOKER Movie Kill Count Supercut. Nicholson as the Joker has an estimate of 50 bodies under his belt which makes him the deadliest Joker in live-action movies.

3.) Have You Ever Danced With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight?

Hands down the best, coolest, and most memorable quotes of all Jokers. Heath has the classic “Why so serious?” and Phoenix has “I had a bad day”. Neither of them holds a candle to these quotes:

“Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?”
“I am the world’s first fully functionally homicidal artist!”
“Gotham City always brings a smile to my face.”
“I have given a name to my pain, and it is Batman.”
“Haven’t you heard of the healing power of laughter?”
“You wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses?!”
“Do I look like I’m joking?”
“If you gotta go, go with a smile!”
“What are you laughing at?”
“Never rub another man’s rhubarb.”

4.) Most Interesting Character Arc

At first, it was difficult to dismiss Todd Phillips Joker as an engaging character study, but it wasn’t as entertaining and interesting of a story arc in Batman 89′. Spoilers, but the Joker in 89′ is the murderer Jack Napier. The man that’s responsible for the demise of the Wayne’s. In a twisted way, he gave “birth” to Batman which in return creates a special eerie bond between hero and villain. From a two-bit gangster (like golden age comics Joker) to a psychopathic clown after falling in a vat of chemicals and having surgery on his face. All of this is so closer to the comics as well which is a fan pleaser! Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton had much better chemistry than any other duo in Batman films too.

5.) Biggest Pop Culture Influence

At first glance, it looks like Nolan’s and Phillips’ Jokers are far more influential due to the numerous amounts of cosplays/Halloween costumes. In reality, the 89′ Joker gave life to all live-action Jokers after him due to the massive success of the movie and incredible performance by Nicholson. Then people need to take into consideration that Mark Hamill’s Joker design in Batman: The Animated Series is highly influenced by both comics and Jack Nicholson. Then the massive amounts of toys that were sold at the time and how much they are worth now is wild! It’s difficult for fans born in the late 90s and after to understand but it was a major deal. In conclusion, all three actors did a fantastic job as the character it’s just that Jack Nicholson took the slight edge. He may not be as popular now, but quality over-popularity.

Share your thoughts with Fandomwire on who do you believe is the best Joker and why?