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This debate over which Joker has the best laugh ignores the greatest one of all

Photo: Silver Screen Collection (Getty Images)

IGN probably wasn’t intending to stir any controversy with a new Twitter poll it dropped yesterday. After Joaquin Phoenix yet again delivered his unhinged laugh in the latest trailer for Todd Phillips’ Joker, they just thought it’d be fun to ask whose Joker laugh is the most iconic. The candidates included Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, and Mark Hamill.


Let’s be clear: The answer is NOT Jack Nicholson. Ledger gets a lot of points for basically redefining the legendary character in The Dark Knight, as does Hamill for his manic portrayal on The Animated Series. But devout Batman fans may spot a noticeable omission from that short list: Cesar Romero, who made his Joker famous in the 1966 Batman movie and on the 1966-68 Batman TV show. He invented the Joker laugh, for God’s sake.

So, while Hamill and Ledger are currently duking it out for the top spot, we can’t help but wonder how these numbers would add up if Romero was rightly added to the ballot. Of course, some Joker fans are pointing to another portrayal not included in these four.

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About the author

Gwen Ihnat

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.