Laughter is the Best Medicine

Every Version Of The Joker Ranked From Worst To Best

The Joker is unquestionably one of the greatest
villains in the history of comic books. Unfortunately, though, the character’s track
record outside the comics hasn’t exactly been spotless. With over a dozen major appearances in TV,
movies, and video games, the varied interpretations of the Clown Prince of Crime have cast a pretty
wide net from amazing to terrible. Here’s our ultimate guide to every version
of the Joker, ranked from worst to best. Scooby Doo Joker Despite coming in dead last on our list, the
version of the Joker that appeared on The New Scooby-Doo Movies isn’t unforgivably terrible—he’s
just flat out boring, which might be an even bigger problem. Plus, he’s a complete failure, as he can’t
manage to even scare Scooby-Doo, a character defined by being terrified of everything. “Now, Pengy-Wengy, watch me lure them into
the room of doom.” The only thing that’s really worth mentioning
about him is that he was voiced by veteran comedian and actor Larry Storch, and let’s
be real here: that’s only really interesting if you’re the kind of person who likes to
get into some hardcore trivia about the cast of F-Troop. “You’ve got to be putting me on!” The New Adventures Of Batman Joker If you ever want to develop a whole new appreciation
for Batman: The Animated Series, take some time to head back to 1977 for The New Batman
Adventures, which features some of the worst character redesigns ever. Amazingly, the Joker, who was voiced by Lennie
Weinrib, managed to escape that particular flaw in the show, but “he looks a lot like
he does in the comics” is about the only good thing you can say about him. His major accomplishment during the show’s
entire 16-episode run was losing an election for President of Criminals when the Penguin
invented a mind-altering substance called “crime slime.” If you can’t win an election against the Penguin,
what are you even doing? “I, the notorious Joker, will stage the biggest
ripoff in the history of Gotham City. Hahaha.” Son of Batman Joker In all honesty, we only included Dee Bradley
Baker’s turn as the Joker on this list in order to be as thorough as we can. That’s not to knock the guy, but as the Joker’s
appearance in Son of Batman is limited to appearing as a shadow on a wall and letting
out one laugh. But… it was a nice laugh at least? “Hahaha.” Super Friends Joker The Super Friends saga ran for eight years
under various titles, but the Joker only ever appeared once, when the show was commonly known as the Super Powers Team, in 1985’s “The Wild Cards,”
where he was voiced by Frank Welker. Unfortunately, his appearance was both minor
and bizarre, with the Joker turning up as part of the playing card themed super villain
team the Royal Flush Gang. He’s not the team’s Joker, though, he’s actually
disguised as the Ace. If your story calls for a chalk-white villain
named after a playing card to dress up as a different chalk-white villain named after
a playing card, maybe things are getting a little needlessly complicated. “the superpowers own headquarters will soon
be our new base on earth. Don’t you love the irony? Haha.” Young Justice Joker You know those memes where they intentionally
mix a bunch of geeky franchises in order to induce nerd rage? Well, the Young Justice version of the Joker
feels a lot like that. “Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt your regularly
scheduled mayhem to bring you this. Important announcement. He’s the Joker, but he looks like David Tennant
as the Doctor and is voiced by Brent Spiner from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s not exactly terrible, but it’s overshadowed
by just about every other version of Joker ever. LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes Unite Joker If you enjoyed the big-screen LEGO Batman
movie, then we have good news and bad news. The good news is that there’s already a second
LEGO Batman movie you can watch—and in fact, it’s been available on home video since 2013! But here’s the bad news: It’s actually just
a collection of cutscenes from the LEGO Batman 2: DC Super-Heroes video game, thrown in with
a few new scenes to recreate the events that happen when you actually play the game, all
edited into a 71-minute “movie.” It’s actually not that bad, and Christopher
Corey Smith gives a solid voice performance, even if it is just a standard riff on Mark
Hamill’s Joker. “I’d have to be crazy to say no to that offer.” The Dark Knight Returns Joker To say the role of the Joker in an animated
version of Frank Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns presented a challenge is putting
things pretty mildly. The character’s arc went from catatonic to
insanely murderous, requiring a ton of range. Person of Interest star Michael Emerson gave
it a shot, but played it just a little too flat during the first parts of the Joker’s
journey. At the end, he ramps up to a satisfying fever
pitch, but this one is a little too uneven to rank any higher. “Doesn’t matter. I win. I made you lose control. Haha. And they’ll kill you for it.” LEGO Batman Video Games Joker Steve Blum became the first actor to voice
both Batman and The Joker in the first LEGO Batman game, but that accomplishment comes
with an asterisk, because he had almost no dialogue. That changed in the second and third games,
where the game designers decided to expand the dialogue in order to tell a more complex
and rewarding story. Blum was replaced by Troy Baker for the role
of Batman, but stayed on as the Joker, turning in a fine performance heavily influenced by
Mark Hamill. “I’ve got whole world, in my PANTS! I’ve got the whole wide world, in my PANTS!” “Joker. Shut up” DC Super Friends Short Joker When you’re hiring someone to play the Joker,
it stands to reason that two of the most important qualifications are going to be a morbid sense
of humor and an insanely creepy laugh. If that’s the case, you could do a hell of
a lot worse than just going out and getting the guy who played the Cryptkeeper on Tales
From the Crypt. “Beware of skeletons. Unless they’re your truly. Hahaha.” That’s exactly what happened in 2010, when
John Kassir lent his voice to a series of shorts packaged with Fisher-Price’s line of
Super Friends toys. Kassir does a good job of mixing up his performance,
though it’s still instantly recognizable to anyone who was a fan of the 80’s HBO anthology. Which probably did not include any of the
kids in the target audience. We hope. “Finally! You made it! Now the fun can really begin!” DC Super Friends Joker The Joker we’re given in DC Super Friends
is pretty great if only because of how much he clearly hates working with the other supervillains. Voice actor Lloyd Floyd’s audible eye rolling
adds some fun nuance to a performance that’s otherwise pretty much by the book. But hey: he does get bonus points for not
copying Mark Hamill like so many others have done. “You created him Lexy?” “Arrrh.” “Oh, haha. I thought you had no sense of humor, you old
card, you.” “It was a lab accident.” Suicide Squad Joker First, you have get past a design that starts
with a tattoo of the word “damaged” on his forehead and just spirals out from there until
he looks like he should be performing alongside Dark Lotus at this year’s Gathering of the
Juggalos. Then, you have to get past all the stories
of Jared Leto going Method and sending his co-stars live rats, dead pigs, and used condoms. What you’re left with is… well, not much
of anything, really. For all the hype surrounding Leto’s appearance
as the Joker in Suicide Squad, it pretty much amounted to about ten minutes of screentime
that were mostly there for Harley Quinn’s origin story – and some ill-advised fanservice. Arkham: Origins Joker When Arkham City was announced as Mark Hamill’s
final outing as the Joker, there was a pretty big problem. As Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Clown Prince
of Crime was definitely going to be in the next game, which told the story of an encounter
much earlier in Batman’s career. Thus, the role of the Joker fell to Troy Baker,
and the problem here is obvious: he pretty much just did a dead-on impression of Hamill’s
Joker for the entire game. To be fair, he actually does a really good
job of it, but a copy is just never going to beat the original. “oh, Bats. Hahahaha. What a night!” Gotham’s Jerome Valeska The people behind Gotham clearly know that
they can’t really have the Joker show up years before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman on account
of his origin story being so tightly intertwined, so they just went ahead and created a guy
who isn’t technically the Joker, but is definitely a maniacal supervillain with a permanent rictus
grin who dresses as a circus clown and wants to sow chaos wherever he can. Cameron Monaghan’s performance as Jerome Valeska
is ridiculously compelling, and has made for some pretty wild television. “I’m the boss. Hahaha.” Arkham Series Joker First things first: the Arkham franchise has
produced some of the best video games in recent memory, and without question the best Batman
games ever. Unfortunately, even though they got the legendary
Mark Hamill to do the voice for three out of four, they also ended up giving us a Joker
who has what might be the single stupidest master plan in the character’s 75-year history. Seriously, after perfectly executing his scheme,
he unveils his ultimate masterstroke, which is… turning himself into a giant drug monster
and getting in a fistfight with the greatest hand to hand fighter in the world. Really, dude? Dumb things like this are why you never beat
Batman! “I can take it. I can take anything you throw at me Bats. You can’t beat me. I’m actually going to win!” The Batman Joker The redesign of the Joker for The Batman is
remembered as one of the most divisive missteps in the history of DC animation. Laboring under the shadow of the legendary
Batman: The Animated Series, and stuck with the task of incorporating the “Batwave” gimmick
of the accompanying toy line, designer Jeff Matsuda decided to go as far in the opposite
direction as possible from Bruce Timm’s sleek design from Batman: The Animated Series. The result wasn’t very well received, to put
it mildly, but Kevin Michael Richardson’s take on the Joker actually had some really
good stories, such as “The Laughing Bat,” where Joker becomes a vigilante and uses Joke
Venom to turn Batman into a bad guy so he has a supervillain to fight. That’s pretty awesome. “Graffiti. That’s a pretty serious offense, girls. But that’s why I became a crimefighter. To take out garbage like you.” LEGO: Gotham City Breakout Joker Sometimes the Joker is a sinister, psychopathic
murderer. And then other times, he’s a goofy and delightfully
manipulative weirdo who brings down an entire city armed only with a spoon. Joker stories that are actually funny are
pretty rare these days, so having a version of The Joker as whimsical as Jason Spisak’s
take on the character is a rare treat. And the fact that this short also introduced
his new sidekick Spoony is a hilarious bonus. “Can you make dogs invisible? “Spoony, that’s not even a real super power.” “Ah.. perhaps a demonstration for Spoony?” Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Joker Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar returned
to the roles of Batman, Robin, and Catwoman in Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders. That was great, but the rest of the cast was
given the unenviable task of playing specific versions of characters identified with actors
who had died years before. For Jeff Bergman, that meant playing Cesar
Romero playing the Joker. It was a high wire act, as Bergman had to
be respectful of both Romero and Romero’s take on the Joker, but Bergman nailed it in
a performance that feels like a true tribute. “You dare defy us? You must be insane. And here’s the proof. Haha.” Batman: The Brave and the Bold Joker Another show that had to follow in the footsteps
of Batman: The Animated Series was Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which decided to embrace
the character’s lighter Silver Age phase from the comics of 50’s and 60’s. This Joker, which was voiced by Jeff Bennett,
looked a lot like the work of legendary Batman artist Dick Sprang, and really shined in stories
like the alternate world tale of Earth-3, where a heroic version of The Joker became
the last superhero on Earth under the name The Red Hood. “Whoever he is, I hope my counterpart on your
world will have a chance to repay you. “Somehow, that seems unlikely.” Batman ’89 Joker Jack Nicholson’s performance as the Joker
in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie is pretty fantastic on almost every level. He’s certainly the best part of the movie,
with Nicholson’s already-creepy grin accentuated by caked on makeup and some truly amazing
fashion choices. And the scene where he trashes an art museum
might be the most baller thing a supervillain has ever done. “Gentlemen! Let’s broaden our minds. Lawrence!” The only problem with this version of Joker
is his alter-ego, Jack Napier. In the comics, a big part of Joker’s origin
is the idea that some fundamental change in his personality occurred when he fell in that
vat of acid. Here, though, he’s pretty much already The
Joker he even carries a deck of cards with him, and he’s obviously a criminal. And that undermines his arc. Otherwise, though, it’s totally awesome. Batman: Under the Red Hood Even if you don’t recognize his name, you’re
almost certainly familiar with John DiMaggio from his roles as Bender on Futurama, Jake
the Dog on Adventure Time, and Aquaman on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. In 2010, he landed the role of the Joker in
Under the Red Hood, and he didn’t disappoint, delivering a Joker who delivers every line
as though it is an actual joke, giving you the sense of someone who genuinely thinks
that beating someone to death with a crowbar is hilarious. It’s memorable in the creepiest of ways. “So…let’s try and clear this up, okay pumpkin?” Batman ’66 Joker Pretty much everything about Cesar Romero’s
portrayal of the Joker on the 1966 Batman TV show is great, from the way he attacks
every scene with manic, scenery-chewing glee to the way he twists his painted-on grin into
a disappointed scowl when he’s inevitably defeated. All the way down to the fact that Romero refused
to shave his mustache for the part, instead caking on the clown makeup and leaving it
completely visible in every episode. There’s a panache and even a little menace
to the role that makes him one of the show’s most memorable characters. “Hahaha. How delicious it is?” Unfortunately, the show’s writers were bigger
fans of The Penguin and Catwoman, and Romero often got stuck in boring and forgettable
stories which didn’t allow him to really shine. A true shame. LEGO Batman Movie Joker Of all the Joker’s appearances across movies
and TV, who would’ve expected that the one that really went into whether his motivation
stemmed from a twisted sort of love would be the one based on building block toys for
tiny children? And yet here we are, in a world where that’s
not just acknowledged in the LEGO Batman Movie, but serves as the driving force for the entire
plot. Zack Galifianakis nails the voicework too,
making this modern Joker one of the best ever. “You’re obsessed with me!” “Phhhhhhh. No I’m not. “Yes you are.” “No I”m not.” “YES YOU ARE. Who else drives you to one-up them like I
do?” “Bane.” “No he doesn’t!” The Dark Knight Joker Between the massive initial hype and the outpouring
of grief following the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger, it can be a little difficult
to judge his performance as The Joker on its own merits. But when you put aside all the baggage and
really look at it, the truth becomes clear: it really is that good. “the good cop bad cop routine?” “Not exactly.” The Joker of The Dark Knight is both terrifying
and genuinely funny, but more than that, he’s got an air of mystery that’s almost impossible
for a character so well-known to cultivate, with virtually every line he delivers turning
out to be a carefully conceived, manipulative lie. Here’s one truth you can bank on though: Ledger’s
Joker is one of the most influential and iconic movie villains of all time. But he’s still not the best Joker of all time… Batman: The Animated Series Joker When you get right down to it, Batman: The
Animated Series did everything right. The slick, stylish take on the Caped Crusader
boiled everything down to essentials, and no character benefitted as much as the Joker. The Joker was frightening and funny, with
a sweeping theatricality that came directly from Mark Hamill’s amazing turn providing
his voice. “hahaha.” And the desire to give Hamill’s Joker even
more to do directly led to the creation of Harley Quinn, who has gone on to become one
of DC’s most popular characters. Add it all up and the Animated Series Joker
remains the definitive take on the character. And that’s… no joke. Thanks for watching! Click the Looper icon to subscribe to our
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100 thoughts on “Every Version Of The Joker Ranked From Worst To Best

  1. Is not fair to compare the animated jokers with movie jokers. To me Heath Ledger is the best Joker, because his performance was complete, excellent acting and the physical strength he had to go thru is to be admired. The animated jokers only put the voice performance.

  2. Heath….but Jack was also very good. Different times though as well. Heath took it to the next level though, and anyone who dosent see this needs to do some research, and see how serious Heath was about taking on this role. Totally amazing. Heath, and it isnt even close, Jack comes in second but by a far margin.

  3. What the hell?? Jerome was awesome what are u talking about?? U just showed animated series…these don't compare with the real actors…

  4. I gotta go with Heath Ledger's joker. He's creepy in a scary way, but also had some dark, edgy jokes up his sleeve to make a true villain out of the joker

  5. No one can be better then the dark night,Arkham series,and Phoenix jokers no matter what you think fite me

  6. The rouges gallery joker especially. .has to have green hair red lipstick and white face the cultural thing is not important they all stick to Bob Kane's 30s detective comics serie

  7. 1 wasn’t surprised heath ledgers joker ended up as top 3. But I don’t think he should have gotten 2nd, he will always be 1st.

  8. oh the gotham jerome joker… kid joker should have ranked higher…in top 5…. he was the joker…. only not named one….

  9. If Jared leto’s joker got a movie more dedicated to him he would’ve been next to heath ledger or at least better than what he’s ranked here

  10. Believe it or not Kevin Michael Richardson’s joker is actually my favourite. He’s the most threatening, is quite athletic and can throw metal cards mimicking Batman’s batarangs. He’s like Batman’s perfect rival. Just my opinion 😅

  11. I am a really old fan of Batman and i don't why people think Jared Leto was bad or half bad, he was psychotic and weird creepy like ''i kill you for fun'' so i think a whole movie with him would be really good !!

  12. Heath Ledger is by far the best Joker. Period. He got so deep into that roll, you couldn't see Heath even without his makeup, you just saw the Joker.

  13. I don't think Jared Leto was a really bad Joker after all, yeah the movie Suicide Squad was confusing, I expected much better and the story was really different but it was still a fun movie to watch and I'm looking forward to a 2nd version. But it isn't so bad to change The Joker sometimes and yeah he kinda looked like a gangster on crack but it also gave a little something special to the movie. Jared Leto played The Joker very well but because he wasn't on the Suicide Squad he didn't got much screening time to prove himself. And you know I think the most important thing about The Joker is his craziness, crimes and jokes and yeah Jared didn't made much jokes but he was a real psycho and that's why I still think it's a good Joker. But my favorite is the one and only Heath Ledger and I think everyone agrees with that because he was a creep and I love his jokes.

  14. The Batman Arkham Joker had a great master plan in the 1st game. Surrender, escape from cuffs, turn Asylum into their own territory.

  15. You can say what you want, but Heath will always be the best Joker. He is the Joker, and he died as the Joker. He will always be remembered as the Joker.

  16. I personally thought jerome valeska would be higher up on the list. For all of you saying ledger and hamil are the best, I'm not coming after your opinions I'm just sharing mine. Cameron Monaghan played an extremely talented role in Gotham. I think ledger was a little too serious for the role of the joker, while jerome did a seriously good job convincing me that he was bat-shit crazy. Not to mention that cameron Monaghan also played jeremiah, another great role. Again I'm not coming for your weave if you have a different opinion. I'm just saying that Jerome should have been placed higher in the list. Like for real? The Lego movie version was nothing like the joker so why was it placed above him? Sorry, I'm going on a rant

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