The Joker is one of the most iconic villains in the history of comic books and movies. He has been portrayed in many different ways, but one of the most memorable versions of the character was seen in the 1966 Batman TV show.
The Origin of the Joker
The Joker was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson and first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940. He was originally intended to be a one-off villain, but his popularity quickly grew and he became a recurring character.
The Joker’s origin has been told in many different ways over the years, but his defining characteristic has always been his insanity. In some versions of the story, he was a criminal known as the Red Hood who fell into a vat of chemicals and emerged with his skin bleached white, hair turned green and lips red like a clown’s. In other versions, he is a failed comedian who turns to crime after being disfigured by an accident.
The 1966 Joker
In 1966, ABC aired a live-action Batman TV series starring Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin. The show was campy and lighthearted, with bright colors and over-the-top villains.
Cesar Romero played the Joker in the series. This version of the character was very different from previous incarnations. Romero refused to shave his mustache for the role, so instead, makeup artists painted over it with white face paint.
The 1966 Joker was flamboyant and theatrical. He wore bright purple suits with green shirts and ties.
His hair was slicked back into a neat pompadour style. He broke into maniacal laughter at every opportunity.
The Legacy of Cesar Romero’s Joker
Although Cesar Romero’s portrayal of the Joker may seem dated by today’s standards, it had a significant impact on pop culture at the time. The 1966 Batman TV show was a massive hit, and Romero’s performance helped to make the Joker one of the most recognizable villains in popular culture.
Romero’s Joker was also notable for being one of the few portrayals of the character that did not delve into his origin story. In the TV show, he was simply a criminal mastermind who loved causing chaos and mayhem.
The Joker has been portrayed in many different ways over the years, but Cesar Romero’s version of the character in the 1966 Batman TV show is one of the most memorable. Although his portrayal may seem campy by today’s standards, it helped to make the character one of the most iconic villains in pop culture history.