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Old November 3 2011, 02:09 PM   #46
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

davejames wrote: View Post
I know I'm alone on this, but I always found Hamill's Joker to be kind of... grating and annoying on BTAS. His episodes were always my least favorite on the show, and his antics never seemed particularly scary or funny to me.

Frankly it wasn't until Ledger's portrayal that I ever found the character remotely interesting.
I agree. Hammils Joker is only notable because it is so different than Luke. It is not only neither scrarey nor funny but it's also too... Much. He leaves nothing to the imagination and plays it way to broadly. It's as if they got someone to play a stereotype of what the Joker might be without getting even close to playing an actual character.
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Old November 3 2011, 03:02 PM   #47
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

^I strongly disagree. Hamill's Joker was a fantastic performance in its own right and would be even if you had no idea that Hamill had played any previous famous character. He brought a lot of range and versatility to it, and was effective at conveying both the funny and scary sides of the Joker.

And really, what's wrong with the Joker being broad? That's kinda the whole point of the character, that he's insanely flamboyant and larger than life, that he puts on this farcical, clownish show while underneath it is a shocking brutality and sadism. And it works as a striking contrast to Batman's grim reserve. The more downplayed incarnations of the Joker -- Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, John DiMaggio in Under the Red Hood, Brent Spiner in a recent Young Justice episode -- are the exceptions to the way the character's usually played. Most Jokers -- Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Mark Hamill, Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman), Jeff Bennett (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) -- have been broad and over-the-top.

By the way, ComicsAlliance reviewers Chris Sims and David Uzumeri made an interesting point about Hamill's Joker in some of their recent columns reviewing Batman movies: that the performance it's most inspired by is Frank Gorshin as the Riddler from the '66 Batman sitcom. Gorshin's Riddler had that same ability to go from sheer zaniness to growling menace in the blink of an eye. And Hamill's Joker has a similar cadence and delivery to Gorshin's Riddler a lot of the time, not to mention sometimes using a similar laugh.
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Old November 3 2011, 03:07 PM   #48
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Well I disagree. I've never actually laughed at his joker, and I've never been creeped out. Playing a character who is insane must have more nuance to it, even with a broad character.
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Old November 3 2011, 03:10 PM   #49
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

I don't have a lot of memory of his Joker from the animated series, but Hamill's Joker from Arkham Asylum and Arkham City has made me laugh on numerous occasions, and I always believed he posed a real threat to Batman.
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Old November 3 2011, 04:40 PM   #50
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Christopher wrote: View Post
^I strongly disagree. Hamill's Joker was a fantastic performance in its own right and would be even if you had no idea that Hamill had played any previous famous character. He brought a lot of range and versatility to it, and was effective at conveying both the funny and scary sides of the Joker.
I agree when he shifted into that darker and more serious tone of voice, it could be pretty effective. Unfortunately those moments were really few and far between on the show.

Most of the time it was just a lot of non-stop cackling and bad jokes-- which was about as annoying and unthreatening then as when George Romero did it in the 60s.
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Old November 3 2011, 04:45 PM   #51
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Ironically, Hammil can do Romero's Joker to a T, I've heard it on a talk show. At least Romero's Joker suited the material.
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Old November 3 2011, 05:11 PM   #52
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

davejames wrote: View Post
Most of the time it was just a lot of non-stop cackling and bad jokes-- which was about as annoying and unthreatening then as when George Romero did it in the 60s.
What George Romero did in the late '60s was produce and direct Night of the Living Dead. You're thinking of Cesar Romero.
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Old November 3 2011, 05:27 PM   #53
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
Ironically, Hammil can do Romero's Joker to a T, I've heard it on a talk show. At least Romero's Joker suited the material.
Yeah it's kind of a tricky thing. People also accuse Nicholson's Joker of being too hammy and cartoonish, but he also had plenty of moments that showed a more sadistic side to the character (plus it helps that Nicholson already brings his own dark and twisted energy to every role).

With BTAS, it just always felt to me like they softened the character up too much for the kids.

Christopher wrote: View Post
What George Romero did in the late '60s was produce and direct Night of the Living Dead. You're thinking of Cesar Romero.
Ha ha, oops.
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Old November 3 2011, 05:34 PM   #54
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Yeah, even in straight up clown performance by Nicholson, there is an undercurrent of subtle menace.
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Old November 3 2011, 06:15 PM   #55
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

davejames wrote: View Post
With BTAS, it just always felt to me like they softened the character up too much for the kids.
Compared to the comics of the time, certainly. But compared to previous screen incarnations of the Joker, he was about as malevolent as they came, at least within what FOX censorship allowed (they were able to take it further in Mask of the Phantasm, the revival on the WB, and Justice League on Cartoon Network, all of which were less censored). I'd say he was about on a par with the Joker of the '70s comics, when Denny O'Neil turned him into a murderous character again but the overall tenor of the comics wasn't as dark and brutal as it became post-Miller. B:TAS probably owes the most to that era of Batman's history. (One of the most memorable Joker episodes of B:TAS, "The Laughing Fish," is an adaptation of two seminal Joker stories from the '70s comics; most of it is based on the Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers story of the same name (which in turn was a remake of sorts of the Joker's debut story from 1940), but the last act was taken from O'Neil's "The Joker's Five-Way Revenge," the story that reinvented the Joker as a cold-blooded killer after a couple of decades as a more comical figure.)


I'm surprised to hear these criticisms of Hamill's Joker, when for a very long time I heard him pretty much universally praised as the definitive Joker of all time. I wonder if Heath Ledger has changed people's view of what the Joker should be, so that people now want something more subtle and controlled. Certainly both DiMaggio's and Spiner's versions of the Joker in recent animated productions have been more in the Ledger vein (or the Ledger domain, heh heh). The one post-TDK Joker that's still more raucous and wacky is Jeff Bennett's in The Brave and the Bold -- which probably owes something to Larry Storch's and Lennie Weinrib's interpretations of the Joker in the '60s and '70s cartoons.
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Old November 3 2011, 10:15 PM   #56
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm surprised to hear these criticisms of Hamill's Joker, when for a very long time I heard him pretty much universally praised as the definitive Joker of all time. I wonder if Heath Ledger has changed people's view of what the Joker should be, so that people now want something more subtle and controlled. Certainly both DiMaggio's
I didn't get much of a subtle Ledger Joker from DiMaggio, he seemed more of a darker and more violent Hamill to me.

and Spiner's versions of the Joker in recent animated productions have been more in the Ledger vein
In this case it was a little too subtle.
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Old November 3 2011, 10:33 PM   #57
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

^Well, my recollection is that I found Di Maggio's Joker disappointing because he was played more low-key than I'd been hoping. I was hoping for kind of a blend of attributes from past Di Maggio roles -- the malevolence of Brother Blood, the bombastic exuberance of Aquaman, the sadistic humor and iconoclasm of Bender, maybe a touch of Dr. Drakken.

And I thought Spiner's performance as the Young Justice Joker was okay -- the problem was that his dialogue wasn't very funny.
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Old November 3 2011, 10:41 PM   #58
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Christopher wrote: View Post
I was hoping for kind of a blend of attributes from past Di Maggio roles -- the malevolence of Brother Blood, the bombastic exuberance of Aquaman, the sadistic humor and iconoclasm of Bender, maybe a touch of Dr. Drakken.
And some General Grievous thrown in for good measure.
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Old December 4 2011, 04:52 PM   #59
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

I thought this was pretty cool. A Hamill Joker impersonater called Pgirts doing the "Why So Serious?" speech from The Dark Knight...

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Old December 4 2011, 07:13 PM   #60
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Re: Mark Hamill: No more Joker

Servo wrote: View Post
I thought this was pretty cool. A Hamill Joker impersonater called Pgirts doing the "Why So Serious?" speech from The Dark Knight...
"LordJazor" also does some excellent Hamil impersonations.
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