- "All it takes is one, rotten day, to transform a normal man, into a monster... Well, in my case, a rotten day and a chemical bath."
- ―The Joker on his origins[src]
- "A very thin line separates normality, from insanity... Life brings thousands of tiny torments, in all shapes, sizes and flavors..."
- ―The Joker driving Ethan Bennett insane[src]
A very different interpretation of the Joker appeared in the animated series, The Batman, and was voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
In this series he was only referred to as simply "Joker" and rarely as "The Joker" - he had wild green hair, red eyes, dark red lips, unusual yellow teeth, and a milky blue tongue. He was born by falling into a vat of chemicals, which bleached his skin, dyed his hair and drove him to insanity. In his first few appearances, Joker's costume consisted of a purple-sleeved straitjacket, blue pants, finger-less gloves, and bare feet. Later in the series, Joker wore a purple jacket, orange shirt, and dark purple leggings( with finger-less gloves of the same material), but still had wild hair and wore no shoes, except one episode (which had mechanical stilts concealed in them) in which ironically he reverted to his earlier costume. Joker also moved and fought with a monkey-like style, by using his feet as dexterously as his hands, and often hung from the walls and ceilings.
While it could be argued that this version of the Clown Prince of Crime more resembled the colorful, comic relief character featured in the comics of the 1950s and '60s, he was still a highly dangerous, intelligent, and cruel character - while most of his crimes were silly and prank-like in nature, they could still be legitimately destructive. Joker treated each of his crimes like an elaborate joke designed to make his victims literally die laughing. Due to his unpredictable nature, bizarre appearance and unnerving instinct for the absurd, Joker earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous criminals in Gotham.
The Joker in that series had often switched from a prankster-like clown to a much darker murdering psychopath (as in later episodes). Within The Batman, the Joker's body count could be arguably ranged from 19-30 victims on screen.
Joker believed himself to be inextricably linked to the Batman, and considered him to be his favorite sparring partner and opponent. Joker said that their relationship was "like comedy and tragedy - two sides, same coin". Joker's weapons included his signature Joker Venom (called "Joker Gas" in the series), razor sharp playing cards, grenades with Joker smiles on them, and a bomb shaped like a Jack-in-the-Box. One of his most famous crimes was creating the supervillain, Clayface. Joker captured and tortured Detective Ethan Bennett, and, in order to drive him mad, he exposed Bennet to "Joker putty" a deadly chemical that he created which mutated Bennet and transformed him into the shapeshifting monster, Clayface. As Clayface, Bennet attempted to get revenge on Joker many times. It was possible that this incarnation of the Joker had an origin similar to the Killing Joke, as he mentioned that he had always wanted to make people laugh. In a flashback to his origins, Joker was shown wearing red clothes after he emerged from the chemicals which suggested at the very least a Red Hood origin. It was also hinted that Joker would one day cripple Batgirl like in "the Killing Joke" as Barbra Gordon was shown to be confined to a wheelchair in the future. He also maintained a rivalry with the Penguin for the title of Gotham's greatest criminal. In "The end of Batman" was the last episode when Joker and Harley Quinn appeared and they both escaped.
The Batman vs. Dracula
Joker encountered Penguin outside a mausoleum and chased him down, only to be dragged into Dracula's sarcophagus and was turned into a Vampire. Joker's hair turned white, his eyes turned blue-white, and even his clothes were affected as well. Unlike all the other vampires, however, Joker retained his individuality and his speech as well as gained vampiric superhuman strength and speed. Nevertheless, Joker was still incapable of betraying Dracula's resting place. At one point, Joker humorously commented that the blood that he feasted on in a blood bank had a delicious flavor of "a bold finish of wild cherries with a hint of oak" before belching. Joker stayed that way until Batman had managed to find a cure and reverted him back to normal. As a side effect, Joker didn't remember anything after his meeting with Penguin outside of Dracula's Mausoleum.
- "Even if we couldn't, Batsy?"
- "You're good."
- "How many Jokers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Wouldn't know! They're too busy loosening Batman's screws!"
- "They all said I was sick in the head. They said I needed help. Well, maybe I am a bit batty. Blame it on the bats in my belfry."
- Season 1
- Season 2
- Season 3
- Season 4
- Season 5
- The Batman vs. Dracula
- Kevin Michael Richardson (English)
- Kozo Shioya (Japanese)
- Ruben Leon (Spanish)
- Pierre Hatet (French)
- Riccardo Peroni (Italian)
- Michael Iwannek (German)
- Julio Chaves (Portuguese)
- Aarre Karén (Finnish)
- Per Sandborgh (Swedish)
- Gilad Kietter (Hebrew)
- In that series, unlike all other media, the character was almost universally referred to simply as "Joker" rather than "the Joker"; this was to contrast with the way his enemy's name was similarly altered, universally being referred to as "the Batman" instead of just "Batman".
- Joker's line of expressing how men were easily driven insane and how he became what he was after only 'one rotten day' was based off the famous "one bad day" monologue from Batman: The Killing Joke.
- Joker's long, dreadlocked hairstyle was inspired by the Jester's Hat, which is often associated with The Joker or The Fool.
- Joker never used the monkey-like combat style in the comic strips, TV Series, and Live-Action movies until The Batman.
- Joker underwent relatively drastic visual changes throughout the series, bringing him closer to more conventional Joker designs. His straightjacket was switched out for the iconic purple tuxedo, his hair became shorter and less fluid, his teeth, while still jagged, were no longer "jigsaw" teeth that slotted together and he adopted a straighter posture. This accompanied the downplaying of his combat skills and ultimately resulted him being quite similar to his TAS counterpart by the end of the series.
- Interestingly enough, when Joker was changed into a Vampire by Dracula, he was the only one who appeared to have kept his identity, and even went so far as to rob a blood bank unlike his fellow victims, who seemed to have changed into mindless animals. The explanation for that could be due to his extreme insanity being able to protect him from Dracula's control (though it still prevented him from being able to tell the Batman where Dracula's location was).
- Despite Dracula himself turning Joker into a Vampire, the Count appeared to have little concern for him when he didn't return to the Crypt. It's possible that he was considered too dangerous and unpredictable by Dracula and was thus ousted from the pack (or he left of his own free will).