We made it! After a week long discussion of all the different iterations of the Joker we have finally made it to our FINAL rankings of the Clown Prince of Gotham.
It was a simple ranking scale. Each person involved ranked the eight different Jokers, each rank had a number assigned to it. 8 having the lowest and 1 having the highest. We then added everything together and that is how we got our Spoiler-verse Joker Rankings.
Before we dive in we want to give a quick shout out to everyone involved with this ranking. (Click on the names for more about them all)
Mr. Galifianakis is probably best known for his role of Alan in the Hangover trilogy or his satirical talk show Between Two Ferns. Most don’t even realize he was in a comic book film much less played the iconic Joker. His iteration is rather enjoyable with how outlandish he is. But you have to remember it is a Lego movie after all.
He was a Joker?!? - John Anderson
People are complaining about a sympathetic Joker in the new movie, yet this is really the Joker you feel bad for. Zach did a great job for the LEGO version. - John
I like Galifinakis but I’ll be honest I drank waay to much before this movie, fell asleep about 10 minutes in and woke up to credits. I’ve tried watching like 2 or 3 more times but I keep falling asleep sooo ya. - Kenric
Rarely has there been a Joker so endearing that he wanted to go to the phantom zone so he can grab the most dangerous villains and bring them back so he can get all the attention from Batman - JT
Good voice acting, but I mean...it’s Legos. I can’t take Legos seriously. - Sara
Next on the list appears to have received the most amount of hate in the discussion and probably would have been 8th had more people realized Galifianakis played the role.
You can’t blame completely blame Leto for his take. His laugh, his mannerisms, and even his voice were all perfect. It was the design and use of the character that really makes this iteration to swallow.
slight stature, horrible design by the Suicide Squad creator, and the second best Joker laugh behind Romero. Points for reimaginating, deductions for results - Jay
If you close your eyes and just listen to his performance it's great. But you open and see his stupid tattoos and gangster outift, grill and everything and it ruins it. - John
I like Leto’s take. Feels like a modern interpretation if Joker was created today. I think his performance wasn’t fleshed out enough for the audience and I blame that on lack of screen time - Kenric
Between the terrible character design….. And I mean terrible, and the lack of screen time his iteration of the joker didn't land with me. Maybe if this Joker received more screen time, he would have landed higher on this list. - Colton
Leto was given the short end of the stick. He was cast in a film that was not only written in 6 weeks but was manhandled by the studio. His limited time onscreen though was more than enough to see Leto's performance was top notch.. and quite possibly the best iteration in live action that we have seen... now if only they got rid of those damn tattoos... - Robert
Ok, who’s idea was it to make Joker look like the colored pencil version of Ryuk from Death Note? Hard pass. - Sara
Let’s be clear here, Cameron Monaghan was never called Joker in the 18 episodes he appeared on Gotham. However, early on in his NOT Joker, Joker iteration fans wanted nothing more than for him to put on the white makeup. That didn’t happen until the end of the series where he was allowed to wear the makeup but was still not mentioned as Joker by name.
His performance is something to see and he does a great job portraying different versions of the Joker we have seen in comics over the years.
He’s good in this roll works very well on the small screen. I was surprised the guy from Shameless is shamelessly great as the joker (Ya, I went there) - Kenric
Cameron doesn't usually get much love and admiration for his portrayal because well.... they never actually call him Joker. Throughout the show of Gotham Monaghan basically played every famous comic book iteration of the character before the show made their own creepy looking version at the end of the series. Dude has range and should be applauded for his contributions to the lore of the Clown Prince of Crime. - Robert
I gave up on Gotham right before they made him a character, but I can’t imagine him being worse than number seven. - Casey
I like Monaghan the best cause he encompasses what all of the jokers have had in my honest opinion - Deej Pennhollow
You would think that Jared Leto’s Joker would be the most divisive but, it seems that Phoenix has now become that.
His movie just released and has made crazy amounts of money. The problem is people cannot decide whether he is a good iteration of Joker or if he is simply a good portrayal of a mentally ill human being. Either way Joaquin does an amazing job in the film and has people asking for a sequel.
He isn’t the Joker. He played a mentally ill man, who worked as a clown, who slid into insanity, that they jammed into the DC Universe to make a buck, because nobody would have watched this depressing piece of shit otherwise - Jay
This was as disturbing as it could possibly be. If I could offer one bit of "how to make this better" would be to make him more sporadic and insane. His portrayal was about a man falling apart that was already damaged. Lean into it more. - John
Crazy good, the laugh, the body language, and the line delivery Phoenix hits it on all levels IMO. On par with Ledger but a different movie feel all together. - Kenric
Tough to even call him Joker. Not only is his makeup the furthest from what we have ever seen of the character, but his mental instability sorta takes away from him being able to outsmart someone like Batman. I know Batman isn't part of this iteration... Even still, Joaquin played a mentally ill character really well but #NotMyJoker - Robert
Oh, Joaquin, my precious star! So much potential, but I just can’t give you the full nod. You just weren’t in full Joker deck long enough, sadly. - Sara
This Joker is almost, but not quite relatable, and that’s the most dangerous Joker you can have - Casey
For those not aware of who Cesar Romero is, he played the Joker in the 1966 Adam West Batman show and movie. The best part of it is he was all for playing the character but refused to shave off his mustache. So, if you look closely enough you will see the makeup covering his mustache.
He was a product of the time. Batman comics were not nearly as dark as they are today and Romero was able to bring the silly antics of Joker perfectly to the small screen.
Obviously the first choice. Tall and angular, he played it with a wink and a nod. He was insanely happy, but when he dropped his voice, you knew there was violence and mayhem lurking inside. Best laugh. - Jay
It's legit hard for me to put him down this far. His portrayal is iconic, it is the staple for what Joker was in the 60's. And the not shaving the mustache is the stuff of legends. - John
Never related to Cesar’s portrayal of Joker mainly because I never liked the Batman Tv show, maybe I’m in the minority, IDK. - Kenric
Because.. Classic. There is always something noteworthy about a pioneer. - John Anderson
I remember as a child sitting on my dad's lap eating cookies and watching reruns of the old 1966 Batman show. Cesar Romero was the first Joker I ever witnessed and was a perfect and eccentric character for the time. - Robert
Decent, but too cartoon hack Mobster for my tastes. - Sara
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Jack Nicholson was one of the hottest actors in the late 80s. The budget for Tim Burton’s Batman was only $35 million and Jack was demanding $10 million per film. But due to his love for the character he worked out a deal to get a cut of the profits… essentially until the end of time.
Nicholson played a more tame version of the Joker but helped pave the way for the darker tone on the character that would lead us to Joaquin Phoenix and most importantly our #1 Joker. While the Burton Batman doesn’t exactly hold up to today’s standards, Jack’s portrayal is still one of his best performances.
my generation LOVES Jack Nicholson, I feel he was doing a poor imitation of Jack Nicholson coked up. He was too short, too fat, and his laugh/voice was something to be desired. Points for the one quote everyone remembers. - Jay
As a kid this WAS what I saw in my head as Joker, the performance was amazing. I would have loved to see him do it more than once. - John
I was 15 when Burton's Batman debuted, I loved it, I think I saw it 5 or 6 times in the theater, at the time and for years later I didn’t believe someone could do a better job than Nicholson’s Joker - Kenric
He had some of the most amazing lines. "This town needs and enema!" - John Anderson
This. Joker. Fucks. (Joking. Don’t put that). Nicholson brought a creepy madness that hadn’t been seen before (outside of the comics) in the ‘89 Batman. He allowed not only the films, but the franchise itself to veer off into a new trajectory. - Casey
Meh, old, boring, don’t remind me how bad it was back then : P - Joshua Queen
That laugh is what does it. Mark Hamill was able to create a laugh that would quickly become a staple of the Joker for years to come. Little unknown fact is Hamill was brought in after a few episodes of Batman the Animated Series was completed. Originally creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini had hired Tim Curry for the role. Scheduling conflicts prevented him from being able to stay on and thus Hamill got the gig.
Hamill has done more than just the voice of Joker on the animated series. He was also the voice of the Clown Prince in the Batman Arkham games, the Killing Joke, and Batman Beyond.
Honestly, I have read amazing things about him, and I had to YouTube him the other way. His voice alone captures the Joker I love, but he dropped a spot because it was animation - Jay
Though only a voice, his is the voice that is in everyone's head when they read a Joker comic. I would love to see him actually put on the makeup for a movie. He could do it #givehamillachance - John
I will always love Hamill but hey I like SW that being said Hamill’s voice acting chops on his Joker for the Batman animated shows and movies has become the stuff of legend. - Kenric
Being a childhood favorite of mine, Mark Hamill has to be at number one. He perfectly captures how the joker should sound and captured his personality, all while never physically showing up on screen. - Colton
The voice. Hands down, so distinguished. With an amazing range for something that might be just shrill - John Anderson
I cant rank voice actors above live action; I need to see body language. But Hamill has some decent dark tones. - Sara
He kept the madness of the character alive while Warmer Brothers was doing everything they could to screw up the Batman live action franchise post Burton’s involvement. Plus, he introduced the world to Harley Quinn, and that’s not for nothing….puddin’. -Casey
It’s him, and the voice is great too - Joshua Queen
SURPRISE! Heath Ledger has been considered the best live action version of the character since 2008. Despite everyone’s hesitation when his casting was announced Heath created a character that was out of this world.
Unfortunately we have never seen what Nolan’s entire vision of the character was but we at least have the fantastic performance from the Dark Knight to watch over and over again.
Let’s not forget he is the only actor to have won an Academy Award for playing the Joker.
The opposite of Romero, I don’t think he got the insanely happy part right, but the menacing, the new look, the slow delivery gave you a sense of menace, of evil, of the insanity behind his brilliance as a criminal. - Jay
While not comic book accurate, this is the truest vision of what I see as the Joker in my head. The performance is amazing, the terror of a character like this is done masterfully well. - John
Blew me away, when he was announced I didn’t like it, I admit my big Hollywood trendy actor pic bias got in the way. I went and saw the movie twice in one day because I couldn’t believe how good Ledger was the first time. - Kenric
He had the looks and the laugh for the Christian Bale Batman Movies, sadly though he not around anymore do to drug overdose but he still played great role for the IRL Joker. - JT
Easily brought to light exactly what is so terrifying about the Joker as a criminal. This wasn't a over the top caricature. This was sociopathy - John Anderson
Overrated is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about Ledger as the Joker. That isn't to say he didn't do an amazing job, but his portrayal was something different than that of the Joker. He wasn't exactly what we have seen before and while that isn't a bad thing just not something I feel should be considered the BEST when talking about the Jokers of our time. He was good, but not Hamill good. - Robert
Gritty, maniacal, and just a tad goofy but not too much. He brought Joker into the real world and made him possible with a stunning performance. Ledger for the win! - Sara
He brought a chaotic sadness that hadn’t been seen before with the Joker. He’s not laughing at a silly gag he’s planted on the caped crusader, he’s laughing at life’s utter futility and meaningless. Casey
Just the best - Joshua Queen
There you have it, what do you think of our list? Why not tell us your list in the comments below!