7 Reasons Why Jack Nicholson Was a Way Better Joker Than Heath Ledger

Some of the top reasons why Jack Nicholson's Joker is totally better character compared to Heath Ledger's bizarre and un-Joker-like creation:

1. Nicholson's Joker was actually very funny.

Heath's Joker had no sense of humor at all :D

2. Nicholson's Joker was incomparably closer to the authentic comic book character.

Ledger's Joker was a completely new character, unrelated to the original in almost every aspect of his interpretation ;)

3. Jack's Joker had much better lines.

Heath was usually mumbling some maniacal and depressive Emo crap, totally out of the character :P

4. Jack's Joker killed more people in the original movie

So much for the Ledger's alleged "darker and scarier Joker" :)

5. Jack Nicholson's Joker had a very interesting On-Screen Origin, and a motive for revenge (so did Batman)

Heath Ledger's Joker had nothing 😁

6. Genuine Joker was an euphoric type of lunatic, closer to Schizophrenic, rather than Ledger's anarchistic Psycho type

Jack wins again 😜

7. Finally, Jack Nicholson's Joker was classier, more stylish, he had better makeup, more convincing smile, and he was an expert at chemistry, his weapons were absolutely cooler compared to Ledger's Joker 👍

Conclusion: The only reason why people are glorifying Ledger, is because of his untimely and infamous death, but when it comes to real acting quality, he is not a match for Jack Nicholson.

Modern kids are obviously not familiar with the original Joker character, or are infatuated with Heath's so called "darker version of Joker" - Just to be clear, there is only one original story, while the "other versions" are just unnecessary modifications, usually ranging far away from the indigenous story.

Jack Nicholson - The Best Joker ever

Ledger's version of "Joker"

Jackpot


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What Girls Said 15

  • 3mo

    i might get around to watching these movies one day

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    • 3mo

      you should! times running out. :(

    • 3mo

      They are just OK honestly, Christopher Nolan's Batman movies are the best super hero movies ever made, and stand up pretty damn well against other genres too.

    • 3mo

      @DaddyRollingStone Not true, Tim Burton's Batman was the best.

  • 3mo

    Thanks for the Op Ed. All I can really say to that is that they are two different characters from two different directors vision of the film, the setting, and the persona of the role. On your fourth point, "darker" doesn't necessarily equal more murders but rather a mood, feeling, etc. one that Heath portrayed brilliantly.
    Christopher Nolans screenplay was a decidedly darker vision of Batman than Sam Hamms screenplay, hence the DARK Knight trilogy moniker.
    Before I finish, I'd like to say none of my opinions are meant to diminish the brilliance of Jack Nickolson in every role he takes on, Joker included.
    Just two very different characterizations of a role first made famous by Cesar Romero, another fine actor but again a completely different character with the name Joker
    But like I said, thanks for your opinion.
    It was well written 💟

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    • 3mo

      Thank you very much :D

  • 3mo

    But Heath ledger is hot

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    • 3mo

      Yeah, isn't he? :P

  • 3mo

    Just because he's Jack Nicholson...

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  • 3mo

    'More convincing smile'
    His smile was just creepily happy lmao.
    I like this myTake tho. Jack Nicholson was a great Joker.

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    • 3mo

      Thanks, I'm glad you like it :D

  • 3mo

    I agree that Ledger was pretty shit and that Nicholson was infinitely better but I don't think there is a clear origin story for the Joker. Various writers seem to have written their own version if it so there doesn't appear to be one true Joker.

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    • 3mo

      I agree, but at least Nicholson's Joker has a story, and it's a really good story ;)

    • 3mo

      Agreed. Im not a fan of the new Batman movies at all, I find Bane so lame as a character and the back story ridiculous and unimaginative.

    • 3mo

      Exactly :D

  • 3mo

    Jack Nicholson did a great job for sure, I loved his performance, but Heath Ledger's interpretation blew me away. It was just on another level. He took an original, and made it his own, expanding and deepening it in delightfully twisted ways. I loved the dark realism in it, from his makeup to his persona. His Joker as a character was much more dynamic and fascinating, in my opinion. But good Take!

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    • 3mo

      Expanding it? Deepening it? He had no origin story... yeah, he was twisted, and dynamic, but his character was pretty much different from the comic book Joker, or the cartooned/animated Joker, and he had no jokes like the original Joker ;)
      Anyway, I'm glad you like the Take :D

    • 3mo

      I think that's what I really loved about it - that he was different and gave it his own incredible, terrifying spin.

      Of course. :)

  • 3mo

    I agree with you, Jack Nicholson is the best joker. Good myTake.

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    • 3mo

      Thank you :D

  • 3mo

    Very true! But I think it's the movie director's fault, not Heath's.

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    • 3mo

      Yeah, I think you're right about that.

    • 3mo

      My thoughts exactly. He was only following the director's vision as he was told. Same can be said about his lines, style of dress, etc... he just used what he was given.

  • 3mo

    Heath Ledgers performance in The dark knight was breathtaking, nothing less.

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    • 3mo

      His performance was not the problem, but his interpretation was, but I don't think it was his fault, it was probably the director's mistake.

    • 3mo

      I think he did absolutely nothing wrong, trying to be the same joker over and over again would have been a mistake.

    • 3mo

      Well, if you want an actor for the role of James Bond (for example), you probably don't expect him to stray far away from the character, right?

  • 3mo

    Mark Hamill is my favourite joker and always will be. I do love Jack and Heath though.

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    • 3mo

      Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill will always be the best Batman vs Joker. Though John DiMaggio's Joker was insanely good as well in Under the Red Hood.

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    • 3mo

      My favourite of the animated is defintiely Under the Red Hood. And DiMaggio was giving an excellent performance there as well. If I remember correctly he was already in the end-phase of voice-choices for the animated series as well, but they decided for Hamill since he was more comicish while DiMaggio was more sinister.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qOdggdLPLM

    • 3mo

      @FakeName123 he is bloody good, must admit. Gotta say Hamill was very sinister in The Killing Joke.

  • 3mo

    Hahaha, finally, someone else gets it, Ledger is no competition for Jack Nicholson, cool mytake ;)

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    • 3mo

      Thank you 😆

  • 3mo

    Excellent points and a very good Mytake, Nicholson's Joker rules :D

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    • 3mo

      I know, right? ;)

  • 3mo

    Jared leto was better in my opinion

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  • 3mo

    Fantastic myTake, I totally agree, Jack was my favorite Joker too :)

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What Guys Said 39

  • 3mo

    In a word, Jack Nicholson could act!

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  • 3mo

    I don't disagree; Nicholson's Joker was indeed superior.

    I will say, however, that Ledger's Joker was so extremely different, it's hard to compare the two. For what the movie and director were going for in the new Batman movies, I think that particular vision of The Joker fit well, and Ledger played it almost to perfection.

    But strictly from a comic book standpoint, and the fact that Jack is ALWAYS the man, Nicholson does indeed win. ;) And #3 is most definitely true.

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    • 3mo

      Thanks 😄

  • 3mo

    i agree. i think christopher nolan simply wanted a more dark batman series overall whereas the tim burton series went more with the comic fun and campi-ness

    i enjoyed ledger's joker more as a true villain but i do agree Jack's was more true to what the joker was like in the comics

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  • 3mo

    The original comic book Joker had no origin story for decades, He just showed up out of nowhere robbing banks. The 1989 version screwed the origin story up anyways. Trying to combine Joe Chill and the falling in the vat of chemicals from the Killing Joke.
    Heth Ledger's Joker actually was following the best part of that graphic novel, Only trying to turn two-Face/Harvey Dent insane instead of Commissioner Gordon.
    I will always love Nicholson's Joker (Even if it was basically a more violent version of Ceasar Romero's) But, Heath Ledger was beautiful and brilliant as the Joker!

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    • 3mo

      1989 origin story is quite logical, it gave Joker a sense of purpose, combination of Killing Joke and Joe Chill was an excellent idea.
      But when it comes to jokes (as the most essential part of Joker's crimes), Nicholson's Joker is way better, and more convincing as a character.
      Heath was glorified mostly by younger people, they are unaware of Joker's past, they are infatuated by his mindless violence, and most girls are usually turned on by Ledger, plus one more important thing, his popularity increased cause of his unfortunate death (such tragedy often results in posthumous fame).

  • 3mo

    I agree, Leger's Joker was far to serious

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  • 3mo

    Sorry still I vote for heath ledger,.. I love the psycho in him.. And the ultimate line he spoke in his madness have a very straight meaning in understanding this twisted society!..

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    • 3mo

      Well, original Joker is not a manic Psycho, but a Schizophrenic.

    • 3mo

      How disappointing!.. I envy a manic!.. And people just love them!..

    • 3mo

      Love them? What people love manic depressive Psychos? Maybe crazy people...

  • 3mo

    number 1 is the best.
    I see them as two completely different jokers. You can like one or the other more depending on your own taste of how the Joker should look like. My favourite Joker is Mark Hamill's.

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  • 3mo

    Fak dis. Ledger was and still is the best joker to me. Evwn if he isn't really like the character ( i dont know, i dont read comics).

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    • 3mo

      That's why real Batman fans prefer Jack Nicholson's Joker ;)

    • 3mo

      Lol whatever man

  • 3mo

    Why not enjoy both performances. Nicolas is the better actor by miles, but credit to Ledger, he put in by far the best performance of his life.

    The main difference in my opinion, was that Nicolas was the comic book creation. A schizophrenic psychopath hell bent on murder and revenge. It was like the part was written for him.

    Ledger was more of a real life sociopath who was bored and got excited by mayhem. A different slant, but I think he played it really well. And I think it worked well against Bales batman, who was not as closed off or brutal as Keatons.

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    • 3mo

      Yeah, you have a very good point

    • 3mo

      Thanks.

      I did agree with all your points. Nicolas version is better. But I still think Ledger was very good.

      It might be easier for me to appreciate Ledger, because I saw his version first, so I got to judge it on its own merit. But what chance has any normal actor got when being compared to Nicolas.

  • 3mo

    I completely agree with you! Jack Nicholson had always been my favourite Joker too. Not saying Heath Ledger wasn't great (of course, he was) but I've felt like he's slightly overrated. Most of his fans appear to be modern kids who aren't familiar with DC thay are only going for the latest trend while not looking back and giving the other Jokers a chance.

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    • 3mo

      Exactly :D

  • 3mo

    I'm not saying Nicholson's Joker is worse than Ledger's. I just think that it's nice to be able to enjoy both performances for what they are.
    Personally, I don't care that the Nolan Joker deviates from the original story, shouldn't I be allowed to consider it an improvement on the original story, if I, personally, really enjoy it? (as long as I don't state is as a fact, that's just silly)
    Also, this is just me talking here, but the last picture you included doesn't really help your case, putting the clean suited, fresh makeup Joker next to the bedraggled, broken looking Joker, which I think looks far darker from appearances alone. I love how loose he is in his actions. His pencil trick is one example that comes to mind. Everyone is entitled to an opinion though :)

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    • 3mo

      Of course, but in order to be called Joker, you have to be funny... Nolan's version wasn't showing much affinity for humor.

    • 3mo

      I thought he was quite funny :p

  • 3mo

    You're absolutely right, from a purist standpoint, Nicholson's Joker was far more accurate, funnier, had better weapons, etc.

    But I will always without question prefer Ledgers Joker. His interpretation, though nothing like the books, was far more interesting. is take was real; believable. Nicholson was over the top ridiculous you couldn't take him seriously, more comical than villainous. Ledger just oozed insanity and fear.

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    • 3mo

      So did the Penguin ;)

  • 3mo

    Jack Nicholson version is by far the best.

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  • 3mo

    Why not compare them with Cesar Romero's version or the cartoon version voiced by Mark Hamill while you're at it?

    For better or for worse. It's all a matter of perception and perspective. Each to their own. Ledger's version is a much deeper and darker character than Nicholson since the story and scripts are totally and entirely different.

    The Jokers both had completely different motives.

    Ledger's (or rather Nolan's version) is an extremist nihilistic anarchist type of psycho terrorist, he's Evil for the sake of Being Evil. His version of the Joer is different in that of all the things he had done, he did it because he wants to show Batman, Gotham and pretty much the whole word that there is "No Good" and that any and all attempts at "Good" are insane, hence why he wants to "watch the world burn", and his most powerful message was "EVERYTHING BURNS." When he torched all those bills, as he clearly demonstrates his motive for what he is doing isn't about the pursuit of material wealth or gain.

    That's more or less true, from a nihilistic perspective such as coming from myself, as everything we ever gained or attained from our lifetime and in this world would be loss upon our very deaths, everything in existence is pretty much futile, nothing lasts forever.

    But if you don't like that type of existentially nihilistic extremist psychopath character, then I can see why you would rather go with Nicholson's version. I Ledger's version of The Joker is one of the most unique kind of villain that there ever was, but I'm sure there are similar nihliistic extremist psychos type of villains in other works of fiction and media.

    In the end he actually beat Batman by successfully corrupting Harvey Dent's mind and drove him to insanity to make his point valid: "that even the best of someone can go bad under the worst circumstances that had occurred to them". Sure he might have been captured and lost in a melee fight with Batman, but that wasn't the point or "The Joker's" Point.

    Nicholson's version is moreso motivated by vengeance upon Batman for causing him to become the Joker in the first place.

    Again different directors, different plots, totally different version and style of the Jokers. So each to their own on who you "think" is the "better" version or "liked" "better". There will always be some sort of bias of favoritism somewhere.

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    • 3mo

      I think they are both interesting villains, but if Ledger's version was a clone of Nicholson's version it won't be as interesting, as it wouldn't be "original" or lack any originality. Not saying the type of villain or concept of the type of villain is exactly 100% unique but you get what I mean. You wouldn't be able to really compared much of the differences.

      Besides it's always up to the hollywood exec's directors and writers which is what makes characters different and have different versions and varieties so they aren't always more or less the same exact thing.

    • 3mo

      That's what I said, Nolan's version is not related to the original comic book character... his "Joker" had no sense of humor at all, why was he named Joker at all? Nolan should have just invent a completely new character called Mr Anarcho-Nihilist :P
      Cesar Romero's version or the cartoon version voiced by Mark Hamill were in accordance with the original Joker character, so I have no complaints regarding their interpretation.

  • 3mo

    I think batman Arkham video game series joker is far better than any of them.
    If you haven't played Arkham city and knight go check em up.

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    • 3mo

      Ok, I will, thanks for the info :D

  • 3mo

    You must be joking.

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  • 3mo

    Jack Nicholson just embodys the psycho role to the utter perfection to me

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  • 3mo

    I agree.
    On some extent.
    All of what you said was true, but the fact is that Ledger wasn't comic book like because he wasn't meant to be a comic book like character.

    I also like Nicholson's much more than Ledger's, but that's because I'm not too much in to Nolan's "realness" as much as I'm in to Burton's "grotesqueness" (is this a word?). I wouldn't confuse "I prefer" to "The better is".

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    • 3mo

      Exactly, I love Burton's "grotesqueness" too :)

  • 3mo

    You lost me at reason #1. Heath Ledger wasn't funny at all? I thought the part where he slams the guys face on the pencil for a 'magic trick' was pretty damn funny or the scene where he's dressed up in a nurse outfit. Lol
    Heath Ledger did an arguably best acting job for the joker there was. He studied journals of the mentally insane to get into character. I really liked his surprises in the movie and how he tracks mobsters out to kill him. He was more dark and creative about the character than Jack.

    I'll be honest, Jack is actually my favorite joker. I'll give respect where it's due though, Heath really knocked it out of the park. In fact he won an Oscar for it. He was indeed a respectable actor and I honestly looked up to him. May he RIP.

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    • 3mo

      Jack was much funnier, you can't have the Joker without any jokes ;)
      We all know Nicholson had more Oscars during his career, but I don't think that Oscars are a proper criteria for such type of movie. Jack did his Joker role perfectly, and he was definitely more creative... Ok, so Ledger was darker, but lack of character development for his version of Joker makes him kinda flawed.
      I'm not saying it's Heath's fault, it was probably Nolan's mistake.
      RIP, he was a very good actor, The Brothers Grimm is one of my favorite movies with Heath Ledger.

    • 3mo

      The Brothers Grimm? hmm I'll have to check that one out

  • 3mo

    The Dark Knight was... overrated to put it bluntly. It wasn't a superhero movie, it was a crime drama that had a superhero in it.

    That being said, Batman Begins does not get the true credit it deserves.

    And The Dark Knight Rises was just your popcorn summer flick lol.

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    • 3mo

      I totally agree, Batman Begins was much better :)

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