Batman Factor

10 Best Joker Portrayals: In-Depth Rating of Every Joker

Best Joker

Finding the best joker is no easy task. To complete the search for the best, we decided to create categories to rate each Joker. It’s important to know what those categories are so you can decide where you stand on each of them. This way, you will also make sense of how we ranked the Jokers the way we did.

It’s also important to remember that we ranked the Jokers on their own merit and not on the films or shows they were apart of. It’s easy to get caught loving a whole movie and then making that Joker out to be better than they were. Let’s get into our categories.

Rating Categories to Find the Best Joker

CategoryMeaning
LaughHow insane is their laugh
CrazinessThere needs to be a believable crazy
Chemistry Chemistry with Batman and other characters
Goons Joker goons are crucial
ComedyThe Joker needs to make you laugh
OverallScore out of 50

10. Kevin Michael Richardson – The Batman

CategoryRating
Laugh9/10
Craziness6/10
Chemistry 3/10
Goons 1/10
Comedy5/10
Overall24/50

This portrayal of the Joker was always doomed to struggle because it had to follow up the 90s Batman Cartoon, which was legendary. The best part of this portrayal of the Joker was the voice. It sounded very close to Mark Hamil’s version. His laugh was amazing, and it made most people terrified of him.

Everything else felt downhill with this Joker in comparison to the others on this list. His craziness was so over the top that he did not feel human. He felt more like some possessed monkey.

Chemistry is everything when it comes to being the Best Joker. You can’t just win on making the craziest version ever if it does not feel like it fits with the story, the comics, and of course, Batman himself.

Having good Joker goons is so important because most of the Joker is not physically strong. He needs help from other crazy followers to help him take down Batman. This version of the Joker did not focus on the Goons much at all. Nothing was memorable about them. That could be because this joker was so strong and could fight pretty well.

Lastly, the comedic value of this joker was ok at best. He tried to make all of these jokes, but he was so scary and weird it was hard to see him as a human making jokes. This joker felt the furthest from being a funny clown.

The Joker’s problem is not even that this was a bad version of the Joker; there is a lot of hype to live up to. So many talented actors have done the role so many times.

The Batman
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9. Jared Leto – Suicide Squad

CategoryRating
Laugh2/10
Craziness6/10
Chemistry 8/10
Goons 6/10
Comedy3/10
Overall25/50

The Jared Leto version of the Joker always gets ragged on for a good reason. His laugh and voice were just awful. It sounds like a mix of Squidward and a door opening. Nothing about it was scary!

The tattoos and the silver teeth were a cool rendition of the Joker. His outfit and the way he looks did not feel right, though. He was like the first joker to not wear purple, and he seemed to be like a pretty boy.

He did not have much screen time, in all fairness, but the thing I did love about this Joker was his chemistry with Harley Quinn. There was no Batman in this one, but it did feel very believable that Harley Quinn was his girl. They did a good job showing how the Joker made Harley Quinn and controlled her.

The portrayal of a pretty boy mobster who is possibly bisexual was different. But I liked that he always seemed to roll deep with his goons. The Joker never came off as being physically strong, and that was a positive.

There was no comedic element here at all. Jared Leto was never going to win any best Joker awards because the Joker’s comedy side did not seem to be present at all.

Suicide Squad
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8. Cesar Romero – Original Joker

CategoryRating
Laugh5/10
Craziness7/10
Chemistry 8/10
Goons 3/10
Comedy8/10
Overall31/50

Cesar Romero gets rated on a bit different of a scale because he was the first-ever to do it. It’s easy to look back now and pick apart his work, but being first is hard. The original Batman series is not as dark as the modern Batman’s, so you have to consider it.

His weak points were his laugh and his goons. His laugh was the first but it was alright, there was no extra sauce on it. The goons looked like he ran out and go some of his uncles to help him commit crimes.

The one thing you cannot deny though is his comedic relief and chemistry with Batman and the cast. The Joker always felt like he was perfectly casted and he fit into that world.

Cesar Romero brought the perfect amount of crazy with him for this role. This was a time when you could not be slitting throats on TV. You had to be a lot more playful and lighthearted to make it a TV series. Even so, you still got the feeling that the Joker was a nutjob.

Batman (Original Series from the 60s)
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7. Cameron Monaghan – Gotham

CategoryRating
Laugh7/10
Craziness8/10
Chemistry 8/10
Goons 3/10
Comedy6/10
Overall32/50

Cameron Monaghan may be one of the most underrated versions of the Joker. He makes the list at #7 of the Best Joker’s because he played three different types of Joker in one show. As an actor, it was exciting to see because Cameron showed a lot of range with his skills.

As a young boy, you could see the crazy starting to come out of him just in the way he smiled, talked, and laughed. His bipolar nature really stood out, and that is why he did well on Craziness. It was a very believable depiction of the Joker, and he just seemed to get crazier.

His laugh was a little bit above average. It was natural and believable, but I feel like the Joker always needs a little bit of extra sauce on his laugh to be great. In his defense, he did not get enough screen time to show off his ability to bring in high-quality goons.

The comedy side made you a bit uncomfortable in a good way. He moved very similar to how you expect Harley Quinn too. This was another Joker rendition that had a very bisexual feel to him.

Overall Cameron Monaghan did a great job. He earned himself the right to get to play the Crown Prince again. Hopefully in a role with a Batman to face.

GOTHAM
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6. Zach Galifianakis – Lego Batman

CategoryRating
Laugh7/10
Craziness6/10
Chemistry 8/10
Goons 4/10
Comedy10/10
Overall35/50

Comparing Zach Galifianakis to other Batman’s is interesting. Lego movies seem always to nail the comedic elements. They have to get the funny parts right because it reveals that they are in a Lego world. The Joker in Batman is just hilarious. There is no doubt that you feel like the Joker is just a clown that loves to kill people and havoc.

The problem with making a joker very comedic is that you can start to lose the crazy element. It’s hard to have a funny, playful joker and a dark, crazy one at the same time. It takes skills that some of the Jokers lower on the list have.

When it comes to Lego Batman and its portrayal of the Joker, it did not do great with the Goons. I think much more could have been done here. They relied on all of the Batman bad guys to be his henchman, and I think that is kind of lazy. The joker needs his disposable goons. That’s just who he is.

The overall chemistry of the Joker and the entire cast was just awesome. The movie was well done because it felt like everyone’s feet together like lego pieces. See what I did there?

LEGO Batman
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5. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Best Joker
CategoryRating
Laugh9/10
Craziness10/10
Chemistry 6/10
Goons 9/10
Comedy4/10
Overall38/50

Joker was a fantastic movie and another realistic portrayal of Gotham like the Dark Knight Trilogy. There is not much of an origin story for the Joker, which bothers many people because everyone wants to know what makes him who he is. That made this movie fantastic, and it makes you think about how we treat everyone in society.

When it comes to Joaquin Phoenix’s role in the movie, he did an amazing job, but some small things missed the mark with this movie and made it feel less like a Batman Villain.

The chemistry of this Joker fighting Batman just seemed off. They did not make the character very smart, and I think that’s a huge part of what makes the Joker vs. Batman awesome. The joker is smart enough to keep up with Batman.

Another big downside for me was the comedy. There was no comedic take on this movie at all. It was straight dark and depressing. That does fit Batman, but the Joker needs to have some comedic relief too.

Now for what this movie did well, the laugh and the craziness were done so well. The laugh was different and cringy. But the craziness was off the charts. From him thinking he was with that woman to how he snapped and started killing people. You didn’t doubt by the end that he had gone off of the deep end.

The last thing worthy of mention is the goons. The movie’s goons get a 9/10 because it was one of the best stories of how the Joker attracted them. Often, he just has these goons, and you wonder where in the world they came from. But in this movie, it was the underbelly of Gotham that was sick of being treated like scum.

Joker
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4. John DiMaggio – Batman: Under the Red Hood

Best Joker
CategoryRating
Laugh8/10
Craziness9/10
Chemistry 10/10
Goons 7/10
Comedy6/10
Overall40/50

Under the Red Hood is one Batman movie that is often slept on, but it’s so good. It’s not only one of the best Batman movies ever made, but the Joker steals the show in this one.

The Joker punishes Batman by beating his partner halfway to death. The whole movie challenges Batman’s promise not to kill. This version is in the running for Best Joker because he pushes Batman almost to do the unthinkable.

Across the board, this Joker is just done well by John DiMaggio. The laugh is executed well and meets the standards of some of the best. The Joker is crazy and proves he is ready to kill at any moment when he uses a glass of water to start a killing spree.

His goons are the typical disposable bodies that you would expect from the Joker. The only difference is he uses a lot of the resources of Black Mask and his men. The Chemistry between Batman and Robin is some of the best you will ever see on screen.

The one place this movie falls short is that I don’t think this Joker was very comedic. He was ok, and they tried to throw in the jokes, but he was definitely more to the dark side of things.

Overall, you have one of the best cartoon Jokers ever made and a fantastic movie all in one.

Batman: Under the Red Hood
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3. Heath ledger – Dark Knight

Best Joker
CategoryRating
Laugh10/10
Craziness8/10
Chemistry 10/10
Goons 7/10
Comedy10/10
Overall45/50

I think most people automatically think to make Heath Ledger the best Joker. But not so fast, when you think about a memorable movie, this movie is one of the best. When you talk about the craziest transformations for an actor, a heath ledger takes the cake as well. But the Joker has some shortcomings that we can’t forget.

The Goons being one of the biggest. These guys really just come from nowhere, and there are so many questions in the realistic Christopher Nolan Batman on why they would follow him and listen to his every command in the world. In the cartoons, it does not matter as much because they don’t take a realistic approach.

The craziness of the Joker was just too much sometimes. It’s like he was so crazy smart and good that it made the story not even make sense sometimes. There are some things the Joker pulls of in that movie with so much precision that it’s hard to stomach it.

Heath Ledger had one of the best laughs, and his mannerisms were out of this world good. He plays the role so well you can watch him in it just being the Joker all day. His Chemistry with all the actors was amazing. From pissing off mobsters when they have the meeting in the day to his epic battles with Batman.

The last thing that the movie nailed was the comedic relief. Like when he says he is going to make this pencil vanish. You also get a good taste of the joker comedy when trying to blow up the hospitals, and the remote stops working. The joker could go from laughing and making jokes to slicing throats in seconds.

The Dark Knight
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2. Jack Nicholson – Batman Movie

Best Joker
CategoryRating
Laugh8/10
Craziness9/10
Chemistry 10/10
Goons 10/10
Comedy10/10
Overall47/50

Jack Nicholson has one of the most underrated versions of the Joker. As time has gone on and others create their own versions, it’s easy to forget how good the first guy to do it on the big screen was. There was nothing that he, as the Joker, was horrible at.

His lower scores were his laugh and his craziness. The laugh was great and felt very real, but it did not have the extra saucy demonic ring to it that some of the others have had. Also, his craziness was not as dark as many of the darkest. However, he did do Alicia and his main henchman Bob pretty dirty.

He earns perfect scores for Chemistry, Goons, and Comedy. His Chemistry with the cast was great. Before he became Batman, he was just the cocky criminal who thought he ran the show. But it felt like he and Batman lived in this world together for a long time. It all made sense, and it fits perfectly.

The Goons were the best of any Batman because they all had branded Jackets. They drove around in green and purple cars; the movie did a good job being dark but still had an element that felt playful. The joker is not strong, so he always went places with his goons by his side. This movie made you want to be on his team.

F&H Men's Henchman Goon Purple Bomber Faux Fur Collar Jacket
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Last but not least is the comedic relief in this movie is just epic. From the scene where Batman is escaping from the Art Gallery, and he says, “where does he get all those fun toys?” To how he shot is #1 guy Bob with his own gun. To sending his love interest a box with dead flowers. He was killing people, but he was doing it in a light-hearted Joker way that felt right.

Jack Nicholson and Micheal Keaton both faced a lot of flack when they were cast for these roles. But both of them shocked the world and went above and beyond to create a masterpiece.

Batman (1989)
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Mark Hamill – Batman (90s Cartoon)

Best Joker
CategoryRating
Laugh10/10
Craziness10/10
Chemistry 10/10
Goons 9/10
Comedy10/10
Overall40/50

I will make this easy for you; this cartoon is one of the best made. Everyone watched it, and it was a hit at the time. The best version of the Joker came from this show. The only knock on this joker can really be on the goons because none are as good as the 1989 Batman Goons.

Everything else from this Joker set the standard for the Joker. The way he looks, smiles, dresses, and laughs all was a perfect rendition of how most of us think of the Joker. They nailed this to perfection.

He was the right balance of insane and funny. It was a kid’s show, so they couldn’t make him too dark, but they also had to leave room for him to be insane and scary. Most kids were terrified o this character but not so scared that parents would not let them watch.

Lastly, they nailed the chemistry in the show with Batman. Mark Hamill had a voice that felt like it was made for the show. Everything came together so perfectly in this show that its hard to talk about. You have to go back and watch it to appreciate how good it is. The fact that Luke Sky Walker plays this role is just the icing on the cake.

Batman: The Animated Series
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Final Thoughts On The Best Joker

The Joker is a character that is so iconic that there will always be new portrayals of him. This is not going away anytime soon. This list will continue to grow, and people will continue to argue over who is the best Joker.

Funko Pop! Movie Moment: Batman & Joker (1989), Multicolor
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LEGO DC Batman Joker's Trike Chase (440 Pieces)
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