Everyone knows The Joker is Batman's most dangerous and volatile enemy. Beyond that though, it's difficult to get a sense for who The Joker really is behind all that makeup. In an attempt to defog some of the mystery surrounding this polarizing character, here are 14 facts that you probably didn't know about the clown prince of crime.

He was almost killed off nearly 80 years ago.
He was almost killed off nearly 80 years ago.
Way back in the 1940s when the first Batman comic was issued, the world’s most iconic clown villain was almost lost forever. That’s right, The Joker was meant to be killed off at the end of his first run-in with the Dark Knight. Luckily, the editor in charge saw potential in The Joker’s character and ordered that additional frames be added that depict the clown coming back to life.
He knows Batman is Bruce Wayne, but he doesn’t care.
He knows Batman is Bruce Wayne, but he doesn’t care.

While not explicitly stated in the comic books or any other source material, it has been hinted at for years that The Joker actually knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne. For example, The Joker has a habit of targeting anyone close to Batman as well as anyone close to Bruce. He’s even cut off Alfred’s (Bruce Wayne’s butler) hand once! Many fans speculate that The Joker sees Bruce Wayne as a mask for Batman (as opposed to the other way around), and would simply be bored to death if either persona were ever harmed.

He had a midget sidekick called Gaggy.
He had a midget sidekick called Gaggy.

In Batman #186, Gagsworth A. Gagsworthy (Gaggy for short) made his debut as The Joker’s original sidekick long before Harley Quinn was ever conceived. Before he met The Joker, Gaggy was part of the circus and was eventually forced to become a clown after the crowd grew tired of his tightrope act. Filled with resentment, he joined The Joker in committing several serious crimes, all presumably just for laughs.

He was voiced by Luke Skywalker -- for 20 years.
He was voiced by Luke Skywalker -- for 20 years.

Not everyone is aware of Mark Hamill’s illustrious voice acting career (seriously, he does a LOT), but he officially holds the crown as the longest running Joker in the character’s history. Beginning with “Batman: The Animated Series,” Hamill brought new life to the character with his deep, raspy and slightly psychotic voice. He recently hung up the clown shoes though, announcing that the video game “Batman: Arkham Asylum” would be his last stand as the clown prince.

He was supposed to cameo in “The Dark Knight Rises.
He was supposed to cameo in “The Dark Knight Rises."

Surprised? We aren’t. After the late Heath Ledger gave such an inspired performance as The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” it would be difficult for Christopher Nolan to not include Ledger in the sequel. Of course, the actor tragically passed away before such an appearance could take place.

See also: 15 Entertainers Who Tragically Died Mid-Performance

Superman punched a hole through his chest.
Superman punched a hole through his chest.

Sounds like someone’s been playing a little too much “Mortal Kombat.” For years, Batman had been patient with the killer clown, vowing never to kill him (Batman had always hoped that The Joker could be cured of his insanity). Superman apparently has no such patience. In the “Injustice: Gods Among Us” comic series, The Joker tricks the Man Of Steel into thinking he had killed Lois Lane, so Superman does what any logical Kryptonian would do: He punches a hole right through his chest.

He has had several failed attempts at a solo series.
He has had several failed attempts at a solo series.

We’re totally on board with broadening our perspectives from time to time, but something about The Joker as the protagonist just doesn’t sit well with us. Apparently the rest of the world agrees since none of the attempts at a solo series for the world’s most infamous clown ever took off. Part of the reason was due to the strict regulations imposed by the Comics Code Authority, stating that all villains must be apprehended or otherwise brought to justice at the end of each issue (we can’t make this stuff up). Understandably, seeing The Joker sent to Arkham Asylum at the end of each book got really old really quick.

He fought Judge Dredd.
He fought Judge Dredd.
Inter-dimensional travel is totally fair game in the DC universe. In this installment, The Joker falls through a rip in the fabric of time and space, and into the universe of Judge Dredd. He then teams up with Dredd’s arch nemesis (of course he would) Judge Death and wreaks havoc all over Mega City One. That is, until Judge Dredd shuts it down.
His infamous sidekick, Harley Quinn, was not original to the comics.
His infamous sidekick, Harley Quinn, was not original to the comics.
Surely, almost everyone recognizes Harley Quinn, The Joker’s iconic sidekick/girlfriend. Most people don’t realize though, that Quinn has only been around for about 20 years or so. She made her debut in the ‘90s in “Batman: The Animated Series” as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, The Joker’s appointed therapist in Arkham Asylum. After she fell in love with The Joker (and inevitably lost her sanity), her character performed so well with audiences that the writers decided to keep her on long term.
His absence from
His absence from "The Dark Knight Rises" was eventually explained.

Instead of making a cameo appearance in Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman film, The Joker was completely absent due to Heath Ledger’s passing. At least Nolan had the decency to tie up any loose ends associated with the character (even if most fans totally missed it). In “The Dark Knight Rises” it is explained that all supervillains were moved from Arkham Asylum to Blackgate after the Dent Act was passed. Every villain was moved except for The Joker, who is presumably left to rot in Arkham Asylum alone. How’s that for closure?

See also: 16 Actors Who Made Insane Physical Transformations For Marvel Films

The Joker killed Robin (for real).
The Joker killed Robin (for real).
Whoever said that superheroes and their sidekicks can’t die obviously forgot to inform the clown prince. In a famous 1989 edition of the Batman comic book series, The Joker finally takes things a little too far and kills off (for good) Batman’s trusty sidekick. He kidnaps Robin and ties him up inside a warehouse, which he then blows up with the boy wonder still inside.
His real name is “Jack Napier.”
His real name is “Jack Napier.”
While not accepted as canon, Jack Napier is widely agreed upon as The Joker’s real name. The reason for the confusion lies in the fact that no one at DC Comics can agree on a true origin story for The Joker. Over the years, several attempts at providing background into the life of the notorious criminal have come and gone, but the only constant seems to be his true name, Jack Napier.
He appeared on “Scooby-Doo.”
He appeared on “Scooby-Doo.”
The world’s most infamous supervillain made an appearance with the world’s most famous team of mystery solving meddling kids (and their puppy) in “The New Scooby-Doo Movies” episode “The Caped Crusader Caper.” In this installment, The Joker teams up with The Penguin to kidnap Professor Flakey in order to obtain his newly invented flying suit.
The Joker’s character inspiration.
The Joker’s character inspiration.
The inspiration for The Joker’s character comes from a 1928 film entitled “The Man Who Laughs” based on a novel of the same title by Victor Hugo. The main character, Gwynplaine, is sentenced by his king to have his face surgically disfigured into a permanent grin for crimes committed by his father. That sounds an awful lot like a certain psychotic clown killer we know.

Subscribe to the Clipd Newsletter!

Get hand-picked stories just like these delivered straight to your inbox!

Comments

Cookie Settings