Thursday Thirteen: The Joker.


(“Pick a Card” by Ed Benes, from Upper Deck’s Vs. System)

1.  Nina and I have been cooking up a short story/novel/screenplay for months, with the myth of The Joker as its focal point.

2.  Yesterday Heath Ledger died tragically, and was quoted in multiple interviews saying his portrayal of the Clown Prince of Crime in The Dark Knight took him to such frightening places that he had trouble sleeping.

3.  The myth has been around for 68 years, first appearing in DC Comics’ Batman #1 in 1940.

4.  Two years ago, The Joker was chosen as The Greatest Villain of All Time by Wizard magazine.

5.  The Joker was created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane.

6.  He has been previously portrayed by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Hamill’s voice.

7.  Yes, Luke Skywalker and The Joker shared a career.

8.  An actor named Conrad Veidt painted his face in a silent film called The Man Who Laughs in 1928.  He was the model for the myth.

9.  Batman once said that The Joker’s motives and actions “make sense to him alone”.

10.  Heath Ledger’s biorhythms were really messed up that day.


11.  The Joker once tricked Mr. Mxyzptlk into giving him total control of reality.

12.  When The Dark Knight comes out this summer, it will be a filmgoing experience unlike any other.

13.  Rest in Peace, Heath Ledger.  Our prayers go out to your family and friends. 


Filed under Thursday Thirteen.

56 responses to “Thursday Thirteen: The Joker.

  1. I like that. My family has a tradition. No one sees you cry, only laughing and then we party when someone dies.

    The Pink Flamingo

  2. That’s the best tradition I have ever heard. Bravo.

  3. I remember when Cesar Romero was the Joker. I loved the original TV show. So sad About Heath Ledger. I am sad for his little daughter.

  4. Ellen

    Truly a trajedy for this young man to have died so young.

  5. Never knew who he was until yesterday. Just don’t do movies of telelvision. I do feel for his family though. Have a great TT. 🙂

  6. I think Heath’s Joker is probably amazing.

    Jack Nicholson’s version scared the crap out of me.

    And in the cartoons, that horrible, horrible painted on smile…


  7. I’m excited to see the movie, but it will be eerie now at the same time. 😦

  8. I remember Cesar Romero as the Joker. I’ve never seen any of the movies.

  9. he’s kinda creepy…love that photo though! neat post 🙂

  10. I was devastated to hear we lost such a great actor, I remember him in the Patriot with Mel Gibson, he stole my heart in that film, and he only continued to grow and get better as his career went on. What a shame! He will be missed dearly. Great list, I am up too.

  11. Yes, it is such a tragedy to lose such a wonderful young actor. I feel so sad for his little girl.

    I would love to have you stop by to check out 13 Phrases & their Origins. Also you may want to submit a recipe to win a programable slow cooker (shipping included in continental U.S.) for the contest I am offering for National Soup Month. Happy TT! Blessings, Cricket

  12. I guess No. 9 is true of all villains.

  13. Watching this movie will be bittersweet, kind of like what it was like to see the Crow after Branden Lee was killed. My heart goes out especially to Heath’s little girl.

  14. thank you for the tribute

  15. As always, a great post. I love that you know so much about our modern myths. In my novel, the character is her own kind of myth – so I find your work absolutely fascinating. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Happy TT.

  16. Good Thirteen. I love the Joker on the animated series.

  17. I didn’t know about Mark Hamill. I always learn something from your TTs. Thanks.

  18. What a shame to have lost such a promising young man.

  19. I really want to see the movie at this point to see how Ledger will measure up to his predecessors . He was indeed a fine young actor. My prayers go out to him, his parents, daughter, family, and friends.

  20. I was disturbed by the fact that playing the Joker was so very disturbing. The whole story’s sad.

    On a lighter note, I knew that Luke Skywalker was the Joker on the Animated Series. I was a HUGE junkie of the Animated series when I was in grad school. I scheduled my day around it. Wouldn’t even answer the phone or the door when it was on. Even for a repeat.

  21. The whole thing is truly heartbreaking. What a tragedy. Great list.

  22. So sad about Heath.

    This was an informative TT. Thanks.

  23. I saw the trailer for the new Batman and he looked seriously scary. I am so saddened by his death.
    My TT this week talks about 13 celebrities who died much too young.
    Nice tribute
    I am praying for his family.

  24. zenmommasgarden

    I remember Cesar Romero as the Joker. I’ll bet Heath is great. So sad.

  25. 28 is just too young to be dying. Interesting things on your list. Happy TT.

  26. Yen

    I was soo sad to hear the news of Heath..died at such a young age..He was a great actor too! Rest in peace, Heath…

    Nice post too:)

  27. Gosh, I’m beginning to feel pop culture illiterate today… I have no Joker knowledge. :sigh: So I guess, thanks for the edumacation :p

  28. At 28… so sad. Heath I mean. 🙂

  29. Great list…I didn’t know many of those Joker facts at all (not a huge Batman fan here)…I was so upset to hear about Heath’s death, I really feel for his family.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  30. I learned more about this fine actor from your T-13 today and, of course, it’s always sad to see someone so young die as he did. It’s such a loss for all concerned. Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs and blessings,

  31. I love the facts about the Joker he is one of my favorite villains from Batman. I can’t wait for the movie to come out in July but am sad to hear of Heath’s death.

  32. I think he had insomnia before the role but the role made it worse. Seeing him in a last interview fidgeting constantly made me wonder if his thyroid was hyperactive. Mine has been and that’s what happens. I don’t like scary movies. They give me emotional indigestion.

  33. I’m a huge Joker fan. Mark Hamill’s portrayal has been my favorite thus far, but I can’t wait to see what Heath Ledger has done with the role. I really, really hope that playing the Joker wasn’t what ultimately led to his demise. This whole thing reminds me of Brandon Lee, how his career-defining role got him killed. It’s all so tragic.

    Great TT.

  34. Ledger’s untimely death is a real tragedy. Aside from being an outstanding actor, his family, including his 2 year old daughter, must be heartbroken.

  35. thank you for your tt this week.

  36. That was such a horrible tragedy! My heart goes out to his family.

  37. I actually met Cesar Romero years (and years!)ago. He had a great laugh and was very nice. It is so very sad about Heath. My thoughts sure go out to his friends and loved ones.

  38. Really sad about Heath Ledger. He’s amazing in the trailers for “The Dark Knight.”

    My son, nephew and daughter were almost extras in The Dark Knight! They had made it past preliminary interviews and were all lined up to spend one or two days filming. They had been given all their instructions–what to bring, what to wear, etc. (They were told to bring fall and winter clothes, even though it was summer.)

    They were beyond excited. Then, the DAY BEFORE they were to go, they got a call telling them their scene had been cancelled! Talk about disappointment.

  39. celticlibrarian

    *sniffle* Heath.

    68 years? Wow. And his scariness persists. I don’t want him in charge of *my* reality. Eek!

    Happy TT!

  40. Great post. I cannot wait for the Dark Knight.

  41. This was a great list… I was shocked to hear about Heath… it’s such a tragedy. I never knew very much about the Joker, but thanks to your post, I have a better idea now why Heath was so disturbed by him.

    Mine is up as well.

  42. Jack Nicholson is scary in anything he does. He made an excellent joker.

  43. I’m still processing the news about Heath Ledger. I wrote something in which he was the basis for the character and like every writer I had that moment where I was struck with how it would be for him to play the role. There’s this sense of personal loss, of being too late, that I don’t think can make sense to anyone who hasn’t looked at their work with a specific person in mind.

    And this isn’t about me, so moving on, thanks for the details about the Joker. He’s one of the villans I feel has been both the best done and completely overlooked as far as his motivations. Crazy for crazy’s sake isn’t nearly as interesting as crazy for a reason.

    Nuff out of me. 🙂


  44. Outstanding post…great tribute to two characters.

  45. You always have fascinating blogs. Thanks.


  46. I loved this TT. Very sad about Heath.
    Mark Hamill, huh? That was a surprise.

  47. maryt

    Incredible post! My TT is at Work of the Poet

    My Heath Ledger post is at Answers to the Questions

  48. I loved heath, I don’t know if I want to see him play the joker now.. I will just have to watch a knight’s tale over and over. thanks for stopping by!

  49. Interesting stuff about the Joker.

  50. Great job!! It’s sad to see an actor pass so young. I just wish that all the science didn’t have to take so long. The media is speculating about everything. Let the man rest in peace.

    I’m looking forward to your review of the movie after it comes out.

  51. At first I thought it was the curse of the 27-year-old (like Jim Morrison). But he was 28. But now that you mention it, the Dark Knight slant is interesting. And what is really interesting is that my daughter (3) just brought me a VHS of Batman Forever and asked me who was on the cover. It was the Riddler and Two Face. True!

  52. I never heard so much info about The Joker before. I only remembered him as being played by Cesar Romaro (and later, Jack Nicholson). Heath Ledger’s passing is tragic and shocking, no doubt, and I believe you’re correct that the movie will be a unique experience.
    Very interesting TT.

  53. Wow, what a great post! I loved the guy and too cant wait to see the movie. I was looking up stuff on Heath and found a page on him:



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