- "A joke a day keeps the gloom away!"
- ―The Joker[src]
The Joker is an arch-criminal obsessed with absurdity and joke based crimes. Clown-like in appearance and personality, his behavior is very often akin to buffoonery. His abilities as a master conjurer allow him to effortlessly escape from prison many times, making him even more of a threat. Luckily, his crime waves often follow some pattern or theme that usually allows Batman and Robin to predict his next move.
Nothing much is known of Joker's past except that he is well known for his skill with electronics and was a hypnotist when he was younger. He is now known by many as the Clown Prince of Crime with his fiendish cackle and cunning mind. One of his first goals was to unmask Batman, which ultimately failed. Some of his crimes were for little more than goofy amusement, while others were a little more destructive.
Some time later, Joker teamed up with Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman to form the United Underworld, to disband the United Nations. His role in the Combination Trap (devised by the Riddler) was the Jack-in-the-Box to send Batman flying toward the Penguin's exploding octopus, however one of the unnamed thugs fell onto the jack in the box and was killed by the exploding octopus. The four super criminals managed to dehydrate the nine members of the United World Security Council and take them to the submarine, however Batman and Robin draw it to the surface, where the Dynamic Duo fight the United Underworld. After taking several beatings from Batman, the Joker is finished off by Robin, who punches him over the edge, into the water. He is captured along with the other criminals when Batman and Robin chain them to the side of the submarine and Batman calls the coast guard where the police can take them to prison.
His many schemes after this included committing crimes based on the signs of Zodiac, stealing the famous Renaissance art collection for ransom and trying to take over Gotham City with a flying saucer. He can also easily persuade women to help him in his crimes with his charm and wits.
He was also one of six arch-criminals freed from prison by Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft to form her new invisible gang, but this brief cameo appearance was by a stand-in.
Even though Batman defeated him many times, the felonious funnyman never rested until the last laugh was his.
The Joker was one of the more obsessed villains with unmasking Batman. Despite his frenzied efforts to expose the Caped Crusader, Joker was not one of the show's two villains who discovered Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, although he did come close a couple of times. The most memorable time was when he ran into Bruce's study during a failed robbery at Wayne Manor and accidentally tripped the Batpole switch which opened the secret entrance to the Batcave. He mistook it for a secret passage and slid down one of the poles. However thanks to the quick thinking of Bruce's faithful butler Alfred who turned on the Emergency Batpole Elevator, Joker never reached the bottom and instead crashed to the top of the shaft. He was then further tortured by Alfred giving him several trips up and down the pole before finally being arrested.
Weapons and Equipment
As a master criminal, the Joker had many weapons and equipment to help in his crime waves, some even had a portrait of his face on them in contrast to the bat emblem on Batman's gadgets;
- Joy Buzzer: A ring device worn on the Joker's finger. Sometimes acts like a normal joke buzzer, other times it will give off a powerful shock to knock his victims out for a few minutes. He later creates a more lethal one that causes the victims to lose their five senses one by one, just before their lungs collapse.
- Joke Flower: Looks like an ordinary flower which can spray water, powder and Knock Out gas.
- Trick Streamers: These are used to tie up his opponents like a lasso while he makes his getaway.
- Jack-in-the-Box: He used this spring like device that can shoot you up at a great height once in the series to escape from prison and again in the movie as a trap for Batman.
- Exploding Cigar: Looks like an ordinary cigar that explodes when lit.
- Utility Belt: The same as Batman's utility belt except it carries the Joker's weapons and devices.
- Gas Cork: An ordinary cork that is filled with paralysing gas.
- Sneeze Powder pellet: An exploding pellet that gives off a powerful powder that make his opponents constantly sneeze.
- Two-way spy device: Allows him to eavesdrop on conversations. It is equipped with a remote control-activated self-destruct.
- Joker's jumping beans: Kept in a briefcase. When he opens it, the beans jump out and cause an enormous distraction, aiding his getaway.
- Liquid cement: When thrown on the floor, this will keep anyone who walks on it stuck in place.
- Joker Jelly: Concentrated strawberry gelatin that tastes like strawberry axle grease. It can change a large amount of water to jelly. When put in the Gotham City Reservoir, it was powerful enough to affect the entire city's water supply.
- Magic box: The first version of this device helped Joker hypnotize people, it provided a visual device for to distract them while he was confounding their mind with his mental skills.
- Rebuilt Magic box: The second box had a switch that could be used to turn time backwards or forwards, also controlling its speed.
- Human key duplicator: Can skeletonize a person's body into the shape of a large key.
- Wax spray chamber: Coats the victim with layer upon layer of wax. Has three speed settings.
- Satellites: Allow Joker to follow people by planting a tracking device on them.
- Roving Robot Recorder: Lets Joker see and hear through his robots' eyes and ears.
- Jokermobile: A specialized modified roadster.
- Portable Robot Receiver: Homes in on a robot's signal.
- Gas grenades: Used for quick escapes.
- Tiny cuff link radio circuit: for listening in on conversations.
- Robot Super strength Last Ounce of Energy Switch - increases the robots' power when needed.
- Mobile: A rotating machine with many spinning pallet knives arranged on its rotating arms. The victim is strapped to a platform as the knives descend toward him.
- Two-way Hotdog Transmitter: Disguised radios for when secrecy is paramount.
- Paralyzing gas pellets: Explode when activated by the hotdog transmitter.
- Surfing Experience & Ability Transferometer: Drains all surfing know-how from one person and puts it into another. Contains a Vigor Reverser that does the same with youthful energy.
- Sea Urchin Spines: Filled with deadly poison.
- Little green time bomb: Hidden in the Batmobile, this little number destroyed almost the entire Batcave.
- Flying saucer: Designed with the help of Joker's cellmate, a mad scientist. It could travel to the sun, and had an interplanetary microphone for making pronouncements.
Joker had many associates to help in his evil schemes: henchmen, super villains and female accomplices alike:
- Oliver Hardy, Stanley Laurel, Ernie Kovacs, and W.C. Fields (portrayed by Al Wyatt Sr., Angelo De Meo, Gil Perkins, and Pete Kellett) - Henchmen who bore no resemblance to the original comedian actors.
- Queenie (portrayed by Nancy Kovack) - When she was captured by Batman, she tried to get out of it by seducing him, but it didn't stop Batman from doing his duty.
- Executioner (portrayed by Jay Loft-Lyn) - Joker's henchman
- Catcher (portrayed by Tony Santoro) - Joker's henchman
- Cheerleader Susie (portrayed by Donna Loren) - Captain of the Woodrow Roosevelt High School Cheerleader Squad, and secret member of Joker's gang. Once Joker has no further use for her, he gives her a bottle of poison in the guise of Canadian perfume. Batman and Robin save her life and she reveals Joker's plans. She is sent to The Wayne Foundation for Delinquent Girls.
- Nick (portrayed by Kip King) - Known as one of the Bad Pennies and a member of Joker's gang who was with Susie when Dick Grayson tried to infiltrate the Joker's gang. Nick saw through Grayson's bad-boy image because Dick was unable to smoke a cigarette without coughing or choking.
- Two Bits (portrayed by Owen Orr) - The second Bad Penny and another of Joker's second high school dropout henchmen.
- Jill (portrayed by Jane Wald) - Joker's Female Assistant during the crime involving the Maharajah.
- Maharajah of Nimpah (portrayed by Dan Seymour) - A royal who had seemed to be captured by Joker and was willing to make a bargain with him, but this was all a ruse as it was later revealed that it had been the Joker in disguise all along and the real Maharajah was away on a hunting trip.
- Turbans #1 and #2 (portrayed by Norman Alden and Johnny Seven) - Joker's henchmen, disguised as the Maharajah's guards.
- Penguin - A member of the United Underworld who also helped Joker in his brief Zodiac Crimewave. He got captured by Batman and had to escape by a Prison Laundry truck. After hiding in the Batmobile truck, they both discovered the Batcave but were defeated by the Dynamic Duo. Although they worked together, they had a great tendency to insult and argue with each other. He was also released from prison to form Dr. Cassandra's new invisible gang. He was told to rob the ponds and parks
- Riddler - A member of the United Underworld. Joker didn't like the way he left riddles behind to lead the Dynamic Duo to them. He was also released from prison to form Dr. Cassandra's new invisible gang. Like the Joker, he was told to rob all of the amusement parks of Gotham City.
- Catwoman - A member of the United Underworld. She later recruited him to help her find a hidden hoard of gunpowder. She was even nice enough to pick him up at prison when he was paroled. She was also released from prison to form Dr. Cassandra's new invisible gang. She was told to rob all the fish market areas.
- Bluebeard (portrayed by Gil Perkins) - Henchman and member of the United Underworld
- Morgan (portrayed by Dick Crockett)- Henchman and member of the United Underworld
- Quetch (portrayed by George Sawaya) - Henchman and member of The United Underworld
- Cornelia (portrayed by Kathy Kersh) - A Very vain assistant, she always looking into a mirror or other reflective surface. Enjoys fur coats very much. Claims that when there are no mirrors around, she gets thirsty. Joker always remarked that she should stop looking into mirrors as vanity was a bad thing.
- Latch and Bolt (portrayed by Louis Quinn and Larry Anthony) - Simple henchmen, also good friends of Joker. They feel they owe their lives to him, after he broke them out of prison, threw their parole officer in Gotham River, kidnapped the entire jury at their trial, and held the judge's wife hostage.
- Venus (portrayed by Terry Moore) - An unrelenting ex-female assistant to Joker during his Zodiac Crimewave. She wanted to do good, but was easily distracted by expensive gifts of perfume and champagne. But whenever she helped Joker, she almost immediately felt bad about it. After talking with Batman a few times, she was won over by his charm and betrayed the Joker, but it wasn't that easy. She was thrown into a pool with a giant man-eating clam, but Batman rescued her. It is not known what ultimately became of her, though Commissioner Gordon did say that the courts would take her change of heart into consideration.
- Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (portrayed by Hal Baylor, Joe Di Reda, Guy Way, Eddie Saenz, Charlie Picerni and Dick Crockett ) - Joker's henchmen during his Zodiac crimewave.
- Josie Miller (portrayed by Phyllis Douglas) - A beautiful young girl who was a former criminal, she was goofy, silly, but also scheming who was happy to assist the Joker. She gets arrested and sent to prison for her crimes.
- Mr. Glee, Mr. Yock, Mr. Boff (portrayed by Lawrence Montaigne, Ed Deemer, and Cliff Ritchie) - Robots that Joker controlled by remote voice commands. Joker learned to build them as his manual training project the last time he was in prison. Mr. Glee was destroyed when Batman twisted his nose after discovering that he had no sense of humor.
- Baby Jane Towser (portrayed by Diana Ivarson) - Heiress to the Towser paper clip fortune. She was impressed by Joker's skill in the Art Competition that he had entered, and couldn't refuse to help him when he told her that she was his muse. After he robbed her family's wing of the Gotham Art Museum and held her hostage, she realized he was no artistic genius, but a criminal.
- Painters (portrayed by Jerry Catron and Jack Perkins) - Jokers henchmen during his art crimewave
- Charles (portrayed by Owen McGiveney) - Joker's henchman.
- Riptide and Wipe Out (portrayed by Skip Ward and Ron Burke) - Surfer henchmen. Their special skill is making surfboards.
- Undine (portrayed by Sivi Aberg) - A cute 'beach bunny' who worked part-time in the Surf Shop at Gotham Point, but was also an undercover spy for the Joker.
- Giggler and Laugher (portrayed by Sandy Kevin and Bobby Hall) - Catwoman's henchmen, both were looking forward very much to working with Joker.
- Lucky Pierre (portrayed by Pierre Salinger) - Catwoman's attorney who presented her and Joker's case. He wore a lucky wishbone in his hat, carried a lucky rabbit's foot round a chain on his waistcoat. and claimed he never lost a case. But after it was revealed that he and Catwoman rigged the jury, he lost his first case, thus he destroyed his lucky wishbone, threw away his lucky rabbit's foot and stormed out.
- Marvin the Moose and Dave the Dummy (portrayed by Gil Perkins and Sammy Shack) - They worked with Catwoman in the past. Lucky Pierre disguised them and put them on the jury in Batman's case against her and Joker.
- Jurors (portrayed by Al Bain, Donald Chaffin, Neil Collins, Sig Frohlich, Joseph Glick, and Johnny Kern) - Criminals hired by Joker and Catwoman to cheat a verdict at their trial and then assassinate Batman.
- Emerald (portrayed by Corinne Calvet) - Another of Joker's not-so-helpful female assistants during Joker's Martian Invasion scare.
- Shamrock and Chartreuse (portrayed by Jeff Burton and Tony Gardner) - Henchmen who helped Joker in his Martian Invasion scare.
- Verdigris (portrayed by Richard Bakalyan) - Joker's head henchman. He disguised himself as a Martian in a green business suit and ran around Gotham frightening citizens. He also helped fly Joker's flying saucer.
- Professor Greenleaf (portrayed by Fritz Feld) - A fellow inmate Joker met in prison that helped him with the designs for his flying saucer.
- Mrs Green (portrayed by Ellen Corby) - A woman presumably hired by the Joker as a false witness in his Martian Invasion scare.
- Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft - A diabolical alchemist who has invented camouflage pills which turn people invisible. She freed Gotham's most dangerous criminals in Gotham including Joker to form her new invisible gang. He was told by Dr. Cassandra to rob all the amusement parks of Gotham City.
- Cabala - Dr. Cassandra's fiendish husband who assists in her plot.
- King Tut - Former adversary of Batman released from prison to form Dr. Cassandra's new invisible gang. He was told to rob all the museums.
- Egghead - Former adversary of Batman released from prison to form Dr. Cassandra's new invisible gang. He was told to rob the poultry farms.
- Harley Quinn - Joker's girlfriend
- The Joker Is Wild/Batman Is Riled
- The Joker Goes to School/He Meets His Match, The Grisly Ghoul
- The Joker Trumps An Ace/Batman Sets the Pace
- The Impractical Joker/The Joker's Provokers
- The Zodiac Crimes/The Joker's Hard Times/The Penguin Declines
- The Joker's Last Laugh/The Joker's Epitaph
- Pop Goes the Joker/Flop Goes the Joker
- Surf's Up! Joker's Under!
- The Funny Feline Felonies/The Joke's on Catwoman
- The Joker's Flying Saucer
- The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra (Cameo, portrayed by body double)
- "I'm afraid they'll find our humour very very dry!"
- ―The Joker before dehydrating the United World Leaders[src]
- "Oh how delicious it is!"
- ―The Joker Is Wild[src]
- "I'll have it, by all the saints of wicked mirth, I'll have it. The last laugh will still be mine!"
- ―The Joker's Last Laugh[src]
- "Circle now and intertwine
to neatly wrap these guests of mine.
And no more will they cheer and scoff,
I'll cut their circulation off.
If they do not see the joke,
pull the rope and let them choke."
- ―The Joker rhymes as his crew captures Batman and Robin[src]
- "Let us away!"
- ―The Joker when it's time for him and his men to escape[src]
Behind the Scenes
- Unlike the DC Comics, there is no mention of either how his physical deformity at Ace Chemical Processing Plant permanently changed his appearance or his origin as the Red Hood.
- By contrast with the DC Comics' treatment of the Joker as Batman's greatest enemy, Batman seems not to regard him as any more dangerous or cunning than Penguin, Riddler, or Catwoman.
- He is not shown to be as homicidal as his comic counterpart, and does not use his signature weapon, Joker Venom, that makes people laugh themselves literally to death and leaves their corpses with rictus grins on their faces. However, in , "The Joker Trumps An Ace"/"Batman Sets the Pace", he did use deadly gas, but made sure his henchmen safely drained it out of the death trap to make sure civilians wouldn’t get killed by it.
- In an interview with Joel Eisner about his role, published in The Official Batman Batbook, Cesar said, "Why Dozier wanted me I'll never know because I asked his wife, Ann Rutherford, 'Why did Bill think of me for this part?' She said, 'I don't know. He said he saw you in something, and he said, "He's the one I want to play the Joker."' I haven't the slightest idea what it was that he saw me in, because I had never done anything like it before."
- Because Cesar Romero refused to shave his moustache, the make-up artists working with Ben Nye Sr., who designed the Joker makeup format for color television, had to cover it with as much white make-up as they could. It did show up in a lot of close-ups.