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Joker (Batman 1966 TV Series)

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Caesar Romero Joker
Information-silkReal NameUnknown
Information-silkCurrent AliasJoker
Information-silkAliasesThe Laughing Man
Information-silkAffiliationBad Pennies; United Underworld
Information-silkBase Of OperationsGotham City
Information-silkIdentitySecret Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusSingle
Information-silkOccupationProfessional criminal
Information-silkHeight6' 6"
Information-silkUniverseBatman (1966 TV Series)
Information-silkCreatorsJerry Robinson, Bob Kane, William Dozier, Don Weis, Robert Dozier
First Appearance
"The Joker is Wild"
(January, 1966)


The Joker was a criminal from Gotham City, an intelligent, persistent and dangerous nemesis of Batman and Robin.

Early Life

Not much is known about the Joker's early life. On one occasion, he was implied to have been a high school dropout. In addition, Batman once noted that he was a well-known hypnotist before he turned to a life of crime.

Criminal Career

Intelligent and creative, yet totally amoral, the Joker engaged in a wide variety of crimes throughout his life and clashed with Gotham's law enforcement - especially Batman and Robin - on numerous occasions. His crimes included, but were not limited to:

  • Constructing a replica of Batman's utility belt to help him in his robberies, including the hijack of the cruise ship S.S. Gotham
  • Installing money-dispensing machines inside Woodrow Roosevelt High School to undermine the students' work ethic, as well as stealing the answers to the Nationwide Pre-College Exam in an attempt to disqualify the school's basketball team from an upcoming game (as he had gambled thousands on their opponents)
  • Faking the kidnapping of the Maharajah of Nimpah to trick Batman into delivering a massive ransom
  • Joining forces with the Penguin, the Riddler, and Catwoman to dehydrate the members of the United World Council and hold their return for ransom
  • Seducing heiress Baby-Jane Towser to gain access to her family's massive fortune, as well as holding her hostage to rob Stately Wayne Manor
  • Using a "Surfing Experience & Ability Transferometer" to steal the talents of champion surfer Skip Parker, in hopes of winning Gotham Point's surfing competition and the hearts and minds of Gotham's teenagers
  • Building a functional flying saucer and dressing up several henchmen as "Martians" to fool the world into thinking that an alien invasion was imminent

As a career criminal, the Joker was no stranger to incarceration within Gotham State Penitentiary. Though he made daring escapes from the institution on several occasions, and managed to get lawfully released from it on several others by feigning reformation, he would always find himself returned to its confines by Batman and Robin. (This was in keeping with his well-documented expertise, in the comics, in jailbreaks.)


  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): The Joker was adequate in hand-to-hand combat for a man of his size. Though he was seldom a match for Batman and Robin in a fair fight, he was incredibly resourceful in combat and certainly not above resorting to sneak attacks and other tricks.
  • Genius Level Intellect: The Joker's intellect more than made up for his combat skills (or lack thereof).
    • Science
    • Gadgetry: A genius in several branches of science, the Joker invented dozens of complex gadgets over the course of his career, including a formula that could turn all water into jelly and an entire army of robots duplicating the appearance of ordinary citizens.


  • Smoke-Bomb Softball: Specially-designed softball that exploded into smoke when struck. Used to in conjunction with the giant spring to concoct an escape from the Gotham State Penitentiary.
  • Gigantic Spring: Coiled spring secretly built in Gotham State Penitentiary's machine shop; hidden beneath the softball pitcher's mound in the penitentiary's exercise yard. Activated once the smoke-bomb softball went off, springing the Joker over the penitentiary's walls.
  • Comedian Statues: Specially-rigged busts of the Joker himself and four legendary comedians (Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Ernie Kovacs, and W.C. Fields) planted in Gotham Museum's Comedian Hall of Fame. These busts (complete with pedestals) could hide full-grown men inside, allowing the Joker and four of his henchmen to bypass the museum's security.
  • Utility Belt: Meant to mimic Batman's utility belt; contained several pouches that stored the Joker's own set of gadgets.
    • Smoke Bomb
    • Replica Utility Belt
    • Paralyzing Gas Cork
  • Trick Streamers: Ordinary-looking but unbreakable party streamers, usually deployed during battle to tie up enemies. Tend to be hidden up the Joker's sleeves.
  • Sneezing Powder: Typical prank item that induced uncontrollable sneezing. Tended to be thrown in opponents' faces during battles as a distraction tactic.
  • Rigged Vending Machines: Vending machines gimmicked to dispensed coins and valuable stocks & bonds instead of refreshments. Positioned inside Woodrow Roosevelt High School as a way of undermining student morale.
    • Shackle-Dispensing Vending Machine: A vending machine meant to entrap Batman and Robin. Shot out shackles when a coin was inserted, cuffing the captive's legs to the machine. A hidden nozzle at the top sprayed knockout gas, sealing the captive's fate.
  • Squirting Flower: Fake flower attached to the top buttonhole of the Joker's jacket; connected to a hose that allowed it to squirt water, knockout gas, etc.
  • One Endless Night: A half-pint bottle of - according to the Joker - high-grade Canadian perfume. Its contents were laced with poison, as it was meant to discreetly execute Susie the cheerleader.
  • Funny Ray: A remote control-like device that emits a ray which - according to the Joker - neutralizes the gadgets in Batman's and Robin's utility belts for at least an hour.


  • "John Doe & Sons" Moving Van: A special van designed to hold captives in the Electric Chair/Fruit Machine Combo deathtrap. To power the deathtrap, it has a line that could be connected directly to Gotham City's power main. The van's dashboard also contains a trick microphone that allows the Joker to disguise his voice when speaking to captives.
  • "Gayfellow Cleaners" Van: A van that has its exteriors outfitted with folding mirrors. When on a monochrome environment (such as a golf course), the mirrors can be deployed to cover the van with reflections of the surroundings, turning the van invisible.
  • Jokermobile
  • Flying Saucer

It should be noted that one weapon the Joker did NOT use on the series was his most famous one from the comics, his infamous Joker Venom, which kills its victims by making them literally die laughing and leaves their corpses with rictus grins.


  • Hand Buzzer: Typical prank item hidden in the palm of the Joker's glove. Allowed him to stun others with a simple handshake.
  • Rigged Jukebox: A jukebox containing a double-barreled shotgun mounted on a turret, planted inside a Gotham bistro and operated via remote control from the Joker's hideout. Inserting a coin caused the turret to reveal itself and sweep the gun back and forth, intimidating bystanders so a robbery could be conducted. Also contained a speaker for the Joker to taunt his victims through.

Death Traps

  • Electric Chair Fruit Machine Combo: A pair of electric chairs connected to a slot machine. It dispensed fifty thousand volts of electricity into the bodies of the victim(s) when all three reels on the machine landed on the "Lemon" symbol.
  • Drowning Chamber: A re-purposed smokestack from the Katz, Katz, & Katz Refinery. Once the victims are locked inside, deadly gas is pumped into the confined space. The walls are almost perfectly smooth, without footholds of any sort; the only opening is fifty feet above the base.

Behind the Scenes

This incarnation of the Joker was portrayed by Cesar Romero, an American actor of Cuban-Italian descent. Prior to Batman, Romero had performed - as a dancer as well as an actor - for thirty-odd years, most famously as "Latin Lover"-type characters in a variety of films, as well as Duke Santos in the original Ocean's Eleven.

Though Romero was nearly sixty at the time he was offered the role of the Joker, he infused the role with a powerful enthusiasm. Adam West, who played Batman, would later note, "Cesar Romero brought an enormous amount of energy to the role. His piercing eyes, his laugh... I dunno how he did it, because he wasn't 22!".[citation needed]

Romero, rather (in)famously, refused to shave his mustache for the role of the Joker, even though the character had always been (and still is) portrayed as clean-shaven in the comics. As a result, the makeup that Romero wore to imitate the Joker's chalk-white skin tone was applied directly over the mustache, leaving the mustache partially visible during filming.[citation needed]

Though Romero wore a green wig to mimic the Joker's traditional hair color, the lighting on the show's sets often resulted in the Joker's hair appearing other colors - orange, yellow, etc. - when filmed. Romero would later go on to state that the wig bothered him more than any other part of the Joker's costume, as it was glued to his forehead and tended to give him headaches.[citation needed]

According to the notes of series producer William Dozier, Romero was not the first choice for portraying the Joker; several other actors, including José Ferrer and Gig Young, had been considered. Romero himself was perplexed as to why he was considered for the role, commenting, "Why Dozier wanted me I'll never know." Dozier's wife Ann, according to Romero, believed that Dozier had been inspired by one of Romero's previous roles.[citation needed]


The 1966 Batman series' incarnation of the Joker marked the first time that the character was depicted in non-comics media, setting a standard for future depictions of the Clown Prince of Crime (especially where live-action works were concerned). Romero's seemingly-boundless energy, shrieking laugh, and many creative deathtraps left a powerful impression on many audiences at the time, and continues to be remembered fondly even today, decades after the series had ended. Even the mustache that remained so conspicuously visible on Romero's face during Batman's filming has achieved a certain level of fame, becoming accepted by many as the most recognizable element of this particular incarnation of the Joker.[citation needed]

  • According to a slide in the episode "The Joker Goes to School", the Joker stands 6'6". In real life, Romero stood 6'2".
  • The Joker appeared in nineteen episodes of Batman (in addition to the theatrical film), tying with the Penguin for most commonly-appearing villain on the show.
  • It is unknown if the Joker's chalk-white skin was meant to be chemically bleached, as with most of his other counterparts, or mere makeup. At least one episode ("The Funny Feline Felonies") demonstrated that the white on his face did not extend to his arms, though whether this was a production error is unclear.


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Batman 1966 movie
This character is exclusive to the continuity of the 1966-1968 Batman television series and the 1966 Batman feature film. This template will categorize articles that include it into Batman TV Series Characters.
Batman 1966 villains
Batman Villain(s) from the 1966 series
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This character, team or organization, was primarily an enemy of the Batman in either the 1966 film or related television show. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Batman (1966 TV Series) Villains category."

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