The Joker, The Clown Prince of Crime, The Harlequin of Hate, he goes by many names. The supervillain we love to hate has been the nemesis to Gotham’s hero for decades. In print and on-screen we’ve gotten to know many versions of the Joker in various attempts to outsmart Batman. But what of his origin story? The brief flashbacks we saw in Batman (1989) don’t unveil much detail, except to show us the possible connection between these two influential characters of Gotham.
The feature films since the 80s amount to four separate versions of the Joker. In the Tim Burton directed, 1989 version we see Jack Nicholson playing a man named Jack Napier become disfigured by a chemical accident and become the Joker. We waited years after that for the fan-favorite version of the Joker from Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008), a ruthless and criminally insane character whose history is told as lies. Then in 2016, Jared Leto stepped into the clown shoes for a reimagined version that struck a nerve with many people. The latest version from Joaquin Phoenix tells of the man who would become the Joker to give us a better sense of the man behind the makeup.
We chose quotes from each version of the character that shows the streak of insanity that runs through the core to this man. Enjoy a little bit of his madness below!
Click the links below each image to download the high-res PDF for printing on 11×17″ paper. For personal use only.
Arthur Fleck – Joaquin Phoenix
- I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a comedy.
- For my whole life, I didn’t know if I even really existed. But I do, and people are starting to notice.
- Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?
- When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker?
- I just thought of a funny joke!
- Everybody is awful these days. It’s enough to make anyone crazy.
- I had a bad day.
- I’ve got nothing left to lose. Nothing can hurt me anymore.
- I hope my death makes more cents than my life.
- When I was a little boy and told people I was going to be a comedian, everyone laughed at me. Well, no one’s laughing now.
- My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face. She told me I had a purpose to bring laughter and joy to the world.
The Joker – Jared Leto
- Would you die for me?
- Would you live for me?
- Oh, I’m not gonna kill ya. I’m just gonna hurt ya… really, really bad.
- Are you sweet talking me?
- Blah-blah, blah, blah. All of that chitchat’s gonna get ya hurt.
- You’re gonna be my friend.
- Desire becomes surrender. Surrender becomes power.
- I am not someone who is loved. I’m an idea. A state of mind.
- Ah, if you weren’t so crazy, I’d think you were insane.
The Joker – Heath Ledger
- Why so serious?
- If you’re good at something, never do it for free.
- I don’t, I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you?
- I’m an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It’s fair!
- This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them!
- Now I’m always smiling!
- I think you and I are destined to do this forever.
- You see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little push!
- You see, I’m a guy of simple taste. I enjoy dynamite, and gunpowder, and gasoline!
- The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.
- And I thought my jokes were bad.
The Joker – Jack Nicholson
- Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
- You can call me… Joker. And as you can see, I’m a lot happier.
- Do I look like I’m joking?
- Never rub another man’s rhubarb.
- This town needs an enema!
- if you gotta go, go with a smile.
- I’ve been dead once already. It’s very liberating.
- My smile is just skin deep. If you could see inside I’m really crying
- Haven’t you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?
- Sometimes I just kill myself!
- I am the world’s first fully functioning homicidal artist.
- I have given a name to my pain, and it is Batman.
- New and improved Joker products! With a new secret ingredient: Smylex.
- Gotham City. Always brings a smile to my face.