Mark Hamill delivered an iconic portrayal of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series and he’s named three of the Clown Prince of Crime’s episodes as his favorites. Although best known as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Hamill is also a hugely successful voice actor, appearing in numerous animated shows and movies. His Joker performance is so beloved that he has reprised the character in various DC projects, like Batman: The Killing Joke and the Batman: Arkham games.

Batman: The Animated Series ran from 1992-1995, garnering critical acclaim and winning four Emmy awards. The series launched the DCAU, and its story was continued in The New Batman Adventures, followed by the futuristic sequel series Batman Beyond. The Joker, voiced by Hamill, is Batman’s (Kevin Conroy) most notorious nemesis and was a regular fixture of the DC Animated Universe (DCAU), with his volatile personality alternating between jovial prankster and psychotic murderer.


Although the Batman villain has been played by several notable names, Mark Hamill’s Joker in Batman: TAS is widely considered among the best versions, thanks to the actor’s deep understanding of the character. Commemorating the show’s 25th anniversary in 2017, The Hollywood Reporter asked him to name his favorite Batman: The Animated Series episodes. Hamill chose a few standout stories, including the debut of Joker’s infamous sidekick, an adaptation of a comics storyline, and a perfect depiction of Batman and Joker’s complicated relationship.

“Joker’s Favor”

The Joker’s at his most petty and sadistic in one of best Batman: The Animated Series episodes, “Joker’s Favor.” In a cautionary tale of road rage, regular citizen Charlie (Ed Begley Jr.) attempts to run a bad driver off the highway, only to discover it’s the Joker. In an eerie, horror-like sequence, Joker relentlessly pursues Charlie into the woods. He spares the man’s life, taunting him with the threat that he will one day ask Charlie to repay the favor. Eventually, the time comes, and Charlie is implicated in a dastardly scheme. The episode is a fantastic display of what Hamill loves about the villain: “The Joker never gets tiresome because he’s insane… I love that he has the emotional maturity of a 9-year-old and he can turn on a dime.” The Batman: TAS episode “Joker’s Favour” is also notable for marking the first appearance of Harley Quinn (Arleen Sorkin), originally intended to be a one-off henchwoman but later promoted to a series regular.

“The Laughing Fish”

Hamill considers the Batman: The Animated Series episode “The Laughing Fish” a terrific adaptation of a comic storyline that sees Joker at his goofiest. After poisoning Gotham’s fish to give them deformed grins matching his own, he is enraged by the patent office’s refusal to copyright his creation. Harley makes another welcome appearance before the episode culminates in an aquarium-set showdown, that sees Joker take a plunge with a shark as part of a running gag whereby he miraculously escapes death offscreen. Although a lighter Joker story, it’s a solid example of how Batman: The Animated Series excelled at macabre humor.

“The Man Who Killed Batman”

It’s clear why “The Man Who Killed Batman” is one of Mark Hamill’s favorite Batman: The Animated Series episodes. When small-time crook Sidney (Matt Fewer) believes he has accidentally killed Conroy’s Dark Knight, everyone suddenly wants to be the one to kill Batman’s murderer. The Joker initially refuses to believe Batman is dead, staging a robbery but leaving without the loot, too depressed at the thought of losing his greatest rival. As Joker laments, “Without Batman, crime has no punchline.” His Batman eulogy clarifies that he truly values their conflicted relationship and acknowledges that he needs his enemy.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hamill credits “The Man Who Killed Batman” with providing “the best Joker monologue of all time.” It’s hard to disagree, as it boasts similar ideas to those later reiterated by Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Mark Hamill’s legendary combination of menace and childlike glee is one of the reasons Batman: The Animated Series is a must-watch TV show for fans of the Caped Crusader.

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