Every Version Of The Joker Ranked From Worst To Best (UPDATED)
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Every Version Of The Joker Ranked From Worst To Best (UPDATED)

The Joker is one of pop culture’s most iconic
villains, and many actors have gotten the chance to take on the role. We’ve stacked the Jokers against each other
before, but there have been a few groundbreaking interpretations of the character since then
that we have to talk about. Keep watching to see how Joaquin Phoenix holds
up against Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and the rest, as we rank the Jokers, worst to
best. 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!” 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.” 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? The Super Friends saga ran for eight years
under various titles, but the Joker only ever appeared once, 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, 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?” 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. Here’s the weird thing about Steve Blum’s
performance as the Joker: it’s really only here on a technicality. That’s not a knock against Blum as an actor,
but rather has a lot to do with how those games used to be structured. See, the original gag with the storylines
of the LEGO games is that since they were adapting incredibly popular franchises, the
developers figured everyone playing the games already knew the story. That gave them the freedom to present their
versions as a slapstick pantomime, with all the dialogue that players already knew by
heart replaced with incomprehensible muttering and the occasional wordless reaction. LEGO Batman, on the other hand, was the first
time the franchise had dipped its toe into an original story, but they kept the pantomime
stylings for the first outing. As a result, Blum lent his voice to both Batman
and the Joker, but didn’t wind up doing much more than a few grunts and a peal or two of
maniacal laughter in the role. 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. And they’ll kill you for it.” 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
an extended adaptation of the storyline from the LEGO Batman 2 video game. Really, though, that’s only bad news if you’ve
already played the game. If you haven’t, the actual storyline is really
fun, with the Joker and Lex Luthor teaming up to terrorize Gotham City with a laser beam
that can deconstruct anything made of black LEGO bricks, like, say, everything that Batman
owns. Christopher Corey Smith, who also played the
Joker in the second and third LEGO Batman video games once they’d moved to a fully-voiced
story mode, is really just turning in a pretty standard riff on Mark Hamill’s Joker. It’s perfectly good and highly enjoyable,
but it’s not quite the original. “Well well. Lex Luthor. Presidential candidate and Superman’s least-favorite
bald person.” 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 yours truly.” 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!” 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?” “Oh. I thought you had no sense of humor, you old
card, you.” “It was a lab accident.” 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. 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. What a night!” 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.” 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 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.” 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.” “Perhaps a demonstration for Spoony?” 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.” From day one, Gotham has been a show that
wanted to have its cake and eat it too, and there’s no character who embodies that spirit
more than Jeremiah Valeska. “I wanna be the star of the show!” Gotham spent years being a Batman show without
Batman, where the Riddler wasn’t the Riddler yet and the Penguin wasn’t the Penguin yet. But all of the weirdest elements of the franchise,
like the Order of St. Dumas and Professor Pyg, are present and accounted for. In this context, Jeremiah is the closest we
got to a proper Joker, and he still doesn’t quite make the cut. Not only is he a double fake out, the twin
brother of the guy that we thought was going to be the Joker before he died, who then got
dunked in chemicals and took a liking to purple suits, he also comes as close as you can possibly
get to being the Joker without actually stepping across the finish line. Even in the series finale, he steadfastly
refuses to pay off the setup, instead referring to himself by every J-name in the book except
the one we want. “I dunno, call me Jack. No, that’s not right. Joseph. John. J. I don’t know.” And as frustrating as it is, that’s also kind
of great. There’s a deliberate goofiness to the way
he dances around “the Joker issue” that’s genuinely charming and fun. He’s the kind of character that makes you
wish the entire series had been this bonkers from the beginning. 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.” You really have to give it to Joaquin Phoenix
for his performance in the title role of 2019’s Joker: he commits to the part. Arthur Fleck is legitimately difficult to
watch. There’s the grating of his compulsive laughter,
the body horror shots of his emaciated figure and spindly limbs, and the disturbing relationship
with his mother. We watch him go through a seemingly endless
string of physical and emotional beatdowns, and Phoenix is nothing if not committed. His shift from the pathetic Fleck to the twisted
Joker is a masterful performance indeed. Unfortunately, that performance is in a movie
that doesn’t deserve it. No matter how compelling you find Phoenix’s
performance, a lot of the dialogue will make you roll your eyes. The worst sin of Joker, though, is that it
strips all of the mystery away from the character. That’s what sets Joker apart from other supervillains
and makes him as compelling and scary as he is. With Arthur Fleck, we get a meticulously detailed
report about his childhood abuse, miserable adulthood, and how he got his name, explained
a couple of times in case you missed it. 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. 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?” 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. “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. 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
just not 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 the way
that I do?” “Bane.” “No he doesn’t!” 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… 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. This Joker was frightening and funny, with
a sweeping theatricality that came directly from Mark Hamill’s amazing turn providing
his voice. 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. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
comic book characters are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

About Earl Carter

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100 thoughts on “Every Version Of The Joker Ranked From Worst To Best (UPDATED)

  1. 1st Heath Ledger
    2nd Joaquin Phoenix (very close)
    3rd Jack Nicholson
    4th Arkham Series (Mark Hamill)

    These are my all time favourites

  2. The single most disgraceful and embarrassing list ever. If you try this hard to be controversial then it speaks volumes of your company's ability to be credible. So many mistakes and so much praise for lesser performances. The contradictory dialogue by your own narrator is a joke!

  3. I’m sure this a troll video to create stir. They know Joaquin and Heath are the best. You don’t fool me but nice try looper lol. 😂

  4. Did you not watch The Joker movie? The Joker does not give away his origin as you say. The whole movie was a mystery. The directors made it clear that Fleck makes up a lot of the scenes in the movie in his head, as did Fleck’s mum. We don’t know if any of it was real at all. I believe it was very well done and an incredible performance.

  5. The fact that you guys ranked Jared Leto’s Joker above LEGO Batman game Joker from the second game at least,I am dead serious is incredibly stupid

  6. You know what you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a video where author abandons him and treats him like trash? I’ll tell you what you get, you get what you fucking deserve!!!

  7. wait did they just shit on Phoenix joke for heaving an origin then put Nicholson's joker ahead who had an origin? I love both and think they are some of the best.

  8. You guys really have shitty taste in Jokers don’t you? Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix deserve the number 1 and 2 spot.

  9. Here’s a better list:

    1. Joaquin Phoenix
    2. Heath Ledger
    3. Mark Hamil
    4. Jack Nicholson
    5. Ceaser Romero
    5. Cameron Monaghan
    7. Zach Galifianakis
    8. Jared Leto

  10. well, this list is a good compilation of all the jokers but it is not a very good list.
    Joaquin's joker should be at the top 3 or 4 of the best and Jared Leto's was too high. The LEGO movie one was good but not one of the best. Last, the dark knight joker is clearly the best, along with Joaquin, Nicholson and the animated series one. This could be a very good video but do not let this affect your channel. This is not a hate comment, I just want this channel to get better. bye

  11. Arthur Flek isn't the infamous Joker during Batman's tenure. The show is quite upfront about that. Whoever would later become the Joker most definitely would find an icon in the news of Arthur Flek and his flash cult following – a bold icon of how fragile Gotham was, and how a little push is all it would take to make chaos reign supreme.

  12. No Joaquin’s joker was the best joker I have ever seen. He was the joker. He was chilling. He was physcotic. He was real. When I stood up in that theatre I was genuinely scared that I just witnessed a mentally ill person become unhinged and start to kill people

  13. look I haven't watched this yet but I know they probably put Jared Leto's joker last. I didnt like it but he wasnt given much to work with

  14. Joaquins Joker had an origin. I feel like it gets stripped away from him as the story goes on and he becomes mysterious like how Joker should be

  15. All of Looper videos that featured joaquin pheonix always one way or another put him down. You think you can just warp people view on an actor by sprinkle in some negative into to your videos? (This is a real marketing stradegy that using repetetion to create believe and looper is trying to manipulate the crowd with their videos). When there something truly great worth praising for, people will recognise them and put them to their rightful place at the top. You can't change that Looper, this only gonna hurt your reputation, don't try manipulating the crowd any further. We know what we like.

  16. This list is pretty awful. The other jokers cant compare to Joaquin' joker. The most important part to remember is that Joker is mentally unstable and clearly insane. Joaquin clearly shows this. And also the dark knight joker

  17. Its funny how many people can't accept anyone else being as good of a joker as Heath. Its like they went to the theater just to be mad at it. Personally I think Joaquin and Heath are the best two even though they play the role differently.

  18. I respect your opinion. And my opinion is you should kiss my ass before making an egregious list like this ever again. Heath ledger and Joaquin Phoenix share the top spot.

  19. If you truly rank Joaquin Phoenix that low then you didn’t understand the movie at all. Ranking Leto and Phoenix like that only leads me to believe that this list was compiled by monkeys

  20. This list is terrible. While the thoroughness is appreciated, the extensiveness of the list becomes so dry and dense having so many. I mean especially when one example's only appearance in a particular instance is nothing but a shadow and a laugh, I really don't see any need to include that. Also, Health Ledger is obviously the best. No question. Sure Mark Hamill is great in his cartoon but Ledger's portrayal is leaps and bounds ahead of Hamill's. Also, Joaquin Phoenix should definitely be higher up. He brought the character to life wonderfully in his own right. Definitely better than the likes of DiMaggio, and Romero, and even Nicholson too.

  21. "Joaquin 's joker is bad because it is a backstory" <<<< Dude go learn basics , what's the most famous and beloved batman comics? The killing joke…. what's the killing joke about? the joker's backstory…

  22. Your resume of Arthur Fleck boils down to "pathetic". So, that means you saw the movie but you didn't understand it. Why would you attempt to rank something you can't comprehend?

  23. jaocquin was never following the joker of nicholson , romero , mark , GARBAGE leto etc .. it followed HEATH LEDGER,S , n I tell u that imma die hard heath,s fan .. n PHEONIX just took the character potrayal , I think equal to heath,s

  24. Okay… So the LEGO Batman's Joker and even the animated shorts are better than the Dark Knight returns? Ridiculous

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