The Man Who Laughs: The Joker of Each Generation

Iconic is an understatement. The Joker is the quintessential pop culture villain. Money doesn’t motivate him and emotion doesn’t faze him. He’s motivated by chaos in and of itself. Which is a scary proposition for Batman and comic book nerds alike.

The make-up caked villain of the Batman universe has enjoyed many lives (and many voices) over the decades. He’s been a nefarious, one-line-loaded trickster. He’s been a dark, brooding, evil genius. He’s been at once a nemesis to the great bat in Gotham, and an ally to the outcasts and misanthropes of the real world.

Strip away the makeup and explosives though, and you may recognize a few popular faces and names. The Joker has been brought to life so many times over the years, and in so many different ways, that his “resume” deserves a second look.

Today, we explore the many faces of the man who laughs.

Cesar Romero

Millennials may not recognize the name but surely, they’ll remember the vibrant purple suit. Cesar Romero brought Joker to life in the 1966 Batman television adaptation featuring the venerable Adam West.

Akin to the Silver Age portrayal of the character, Cesar Romero’s Joker was a flashy and campy trickster. His arsenal of weapons included the Joy Buzzer, the Joke Flower, Sneeze Powder Pellets, and his world famous jumping beans, which when released, would cause the perfect distraction for a clean getaway. Romero played the Joker from 1966 to 1968, including three TV seasons and a full-length feature film.

Image via CheatSheet