aka How The Joker Is Center Of The Universe
Or, Seven Degrees of The Joker
The Joker one of the most prolific and scariest villains of our time. There have been several actors that have portrayed him in one way or another from live action film to voice actors. This is a list of those who have brought the Clown Prince of Crime to life and my opinions on each. Keep in mind these are only my opinions, but should be held in high regard. Also, we will be taking a look how these actors tie the Joker in with lots of other universes basically associating him with a lot of other entertainment properties. Now let's get started.
The first actor to ever play The Joker on screen was during the campy Batman television show from 1966 to 1968 was Cesar Romero. Even though the show itself was more of a spoof of Batman, Cesar Romero's performance of the Joker fit right into the show and captured some of the more humorous parts of the Joker himself. Even though he refused to shave his mustache for the role it was a very good portrayal, not the best in my opinion but still good for what it was. He also played Dracula in Night Gallery, the head of THRUSH in an episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and guest starred on Bewitched and the Golden Girls. So at this point Joker is associated with the most popular vampire, the head of an opposing organization, one of the most popular witch characters, and a possible love interest of one of the more popular Golden Girls, Sophia. (insert grandma fetish comment here.)
The next on the list is Larry Storch who did Joker's voice back in 1968 on Batman with Robin The Boy Wonder. He also played Drac on Daffy Duck and Porky Pig Meet the Groovie Goolies (another tie in with Dracula), he did the voice of Cool Cat if anyone remembers that little cartoon short, also voiced several characters throughout The Brady Kids cartoon, Looney Tunes and Pink Panther.
Lennie Weinrib who voiced The Joker on The New Adventures of Batman. His voice work includes, Gomez Addams from the Addams Family cartoon, Scrappy-Doo, Prince Lotor from Voltron, and a young Fred Flintstone from The Flintstones Kids. He also provided the voice of several characters on the shows Kissyfur and Rambo and the Forces of Freedom.
Frank Welker, probably one of the most well known voice actors of our time provided the Joker's voice in Super Powers Team: Galactic Guadians. You might know him better as the voice of Scooby Doo and Fred Jones. Of course most of his work is doing animal voices or sounds for cartoons, movies, and tvs. Even babies crying. However, there are several iconic cartoon characters he has also provided the voice for including, Megatron in most Transformers shows, Garfield, Slimer from The Real Ghostbusters, Curious George, Ronald McDonald's best friend Grimace, Barney Rubble, Itsy Bitsy Spider (for anyone that remembers that cartoon), Nibbler from Futurama, Abu from Aladdin (among a whole slew of other Disney characters and background characters), Tokka and Rahzar from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze, among a lot of other characters from the Land Before Time franchise, to Go-Bots, to Tiny Toons and much more. I would list them all but let's not make this all about Frank.
Jack Nicholson, I don't think there is much more I could say here to show how great of an actor he is. Instead of posting his extensive filmography I'll just mention a few of his more well known movies. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Shining, Little Shop of Horrors, The Witches of Eastwick, A Few Good Men and along side Adam Sandler in Anger Management (which he does his Joker laugh throughout that whole movie.) This is just a very small list of movies he has starred in. You can find his filmography by searching online.
Mark Hamill, my all time favorite and definitive Joker. He has the best Joker voice period. Anyone that disagrees with that is just plain wrong. Whether it's my opinion or not he is by far the best. His work ties Joker into one of the biggest franchises of all times. Star Wars. Before he was Joker he was none other than Luke Skywalker himself. Also, making ties to DC Comics biggest rival Marvel by voicing the Hobgoblin in Spiderman The Animated Series and Wolverine in the video game X2: Wolverine's Revenge (I own that game just because Mark did the voice.) Other characters that are noteworthy include, Turtle from My Friends Tigger and Pooh, Ozai from Avatar The Last Airbender, Dr. Julius Pendecker from The Tick animated show, and Jonny K from SWAT Kats, just to name a few, again the list is extensive.
Michael McKean did the Joker's voice in a one shot episode of The New Batman Adventures where he plays Joker from the 1950s. His most notable role, for anyone that's a fan of the Happy Days time of television, was Lenny from Laverne and Shirley. A few other shows and movies he starred in or provided voices for are, Duckman, Earth Girls Are Easy, The Angry Beavers, Dinosaurs, and Johnny Bravo.
Kevin Michael Richardson, provided the Joker's voice on the animated show The Batman. Currently doing The Shredder's voice on Nickolodean's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, he also does Howard the Duck on Ultimate Spiderman, Kilowog from Green Lantern The Animated Series, Panthro from Thundercats, Jabba The Hutt fomr Clone Wars, and a slew of other Cartoon Network and Nickolodean shows.
Jeff Bennett who voiced the Joker on Batman: The Brave and The Bold (who incidentally voiced The Creeper on The New Batman Adventures). He also voiced Johnny Bravo and Kowalski from The Penguins of Madagascar.
John Kassir who plays Joker in DC Super Friends also voices The Ice King from Adventure Time, Buster Bunny from Tiny Toons, The Cryptkeeper from the live action and animated Tales from the Crypt.
John Dimaggio who is better known as Bender from Futurama, did the Joker's voice in Batman: Under the Red Hood.
The last person I'll talk about will bridge a gap that might set off a lot of sci-fi geeks. If you are prone to nerd rage, proceed with caution. He bridges a gap between two of the most influential franchises of geekdom, this might incite a riot so everyone keep your billy clubs and pepper spray handy. The Joker's voice in the show Young Justice was none other than Brent Spiner, Data from Star Trek the Next Generation. Which makes a connection between Star Wars and Star Trek. Two of the biggest fan rivalries I have ever seen has been brought together by one chaotic, maniacal, psyhotic prankster. You're welcome, sci-fi nerds. HAHAHAHA
*ahem* Ok, now that I got that out of my system. Many of these actors have also provided several voices for shows like the Smurfs, Ben 10, G.I. Joe, Family Guy, Simpsons, South Park. Just to name a few of the more well known cartoons. There are many many more. So, basically what I'm trying to say. Any production company that has a hand in any kind of animation has hired these people. Which makes Joker the connection to all universes, animated and otherwise. I know what a lot of you people might say. "You can take any actor and relate him to the Joker in some way and make it seem like that." Yes, you can. That's what makes him so great you can relate him to things that he isn't even associated with in the slightest, but that's for another article.
You're welcome nerds, geeks, and comic fans everywhere. Just remember the next time you watch one of these shows. The Joker isn't too far away. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA