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After 20 Years, Mark Hamill Bids a Fond Farewell to The Joker

With the release Tuesday of Batman: Arkham City, the highly anticipated sequel to the bestselling 2009 video game Arkham Asylum, Mark Hamill bid farewell to the Joker, a character he’s been associated with for nearly two decades.

“Hello/Goodbye Joker!” the Star Wars actor wrote this morning on Twitter. “I’ve enjoyed every minute behind the wheel of the Crown Prince’s crazy car — I’m going to miss him more than I can say!!”

Hamill began voicing the Dark Knight’s arch-nemesis in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series, a role he continued in The New Batman Adventures and in episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Static Shock, as well as the animated movies Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.

Video games, toys, amusement park rides, even a flashback in the live-action Birds of Prey series — The Dark Knight aside, virtually anywhere in the past 20 years you heard the voice of The Joker, that voice belonged to Hamill. But the actor, who was hesitant to return for Batman: Arkham City, revealed last year that the video game would feature his last turn as the Clown Prince of Crime.

“This will be my last, there’s no question about that,” he promised IGN.com in May 2010. “But it’s the last hurrah.”

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Comments

  • 0bsessions

    I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to him not voicing the Joker. I had trouble getting through the first few minutes of the Red Hood film due to the lack of Hamill.

  • Another Ian

    It is the end of quite a legacy with Hamill’s Joker and Conroy’s Batman.  Thanks for the last 20 years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724583311 Jeff Kraschinski

    This is so wrong it’s unbelievable. Nobody has been able to capture the manic mayhem of the Joker as well as Mark. I feel like I’ve been clubbed with a crowbar and left to blow up.

  • Salsa Marcos Leonardo

    Clown Prince.

  • Dan Hurd

    dramatic much?

  • JJ

    So sad :( he’s always voicing joker when I read him in comic books, but what are dcuo gonna do now get a soundalike?
    Kevin Conroy mark Hamilton and arleen sorkin define the bat verse for me.

    Thanks for making my childhood richer Mr H

  • jJ

    *hamill (blooming auto correct)

  • http://www.facebook.com/rodimusben Ben Lundy

    Anyone know why he decided to stop? The decision seems kind of arbitrary. It’s not like voicing Joker consumes a great deal of Hamill’s time.

  • Thejim

    I’d like to know the reason he’s giving up the role too…

  • C.J. Herring

    It’s a “Death in the Family” joke.

    +1 Jeff K.

  • Adrock

    It’s a properly referential comment. See Batman History: Death of Jason Todd – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_A_Death_in_the_Family

  • RunnerX13

    Is he leaving show business all together or just the Joker?  Maybe someone can lock him in the basement of WBs Animation, so he can’t quit.

  • Szehnder

    WHY?!

  • JRay420

    Best Joker ever (Besides Heath Ledger) It’s sad to see him go he will always be The REAL voice of the joker and no one will ever replace him 

  • Atomicrayguncomics

    I read elsewhere some comments that he’d prefer to focus on directing rather than performing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1455487268 John Collins

    what is he afraid for his life or something. why so hesitant?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724583311 Jeff Kraschinski

    Considering all the Red Hood recently, I’m a tad surprised there was anyone out there who didn’t catch the reference… Ahhhh well, just chain me upside down hanging over a tank full of piranha.

  • Flip Maker

    Couldn’t the answer simply be “he’s done.”  20 years of doing the same thing can get old.  Sounds like he’s just ready to move on.  Mark’s going out on top, voicing the joker in the second Arkham game that’s sure to be a BIG success. I can appreciate that.  And hey, 10 years from now he can come out of “Joker retirement” one last time to voice him in some other piece. 

    Frankly, it just sounds like good, solid career management to me.

  • Russell

    Saw him at NYCC.  He said that he would stop doing the video game voice after Arkham Asylumn.  But, after seeing what they were doing with Arkham City he jumped back in.  He said that he doesn’t want to do the voice just to do the voice.  My guess is if the money is right or the project is right he’ll be back.  I think he’s just setting expectations if he doesn’t come back.  Something tells me if Arkham City does a ton of cash, he’ll be back for Arkham World or Arkham Country or Arkham State, or whatever they call it.  LOL.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard him say that the voice really wears on his vocal chords. I don’t have a source offhand and don’t feel like finding it, so take this as you will, but I do remember reading that.

  • Anonymous

    /salute

    Best Joker there ever was.

  • http://www.gregpak.com/entries/002275.shtml D.Smithee

    I’d imagine he’s made enough scratch playing the Joker for two decades. Good for him.

  • Quiknkold

    Thank you Mark, you gave us laughs both joyfull and terrifying.

  • Leo_darkheart03

    Well this does suck indeed. Good luck to Hamill in what ever he does next.

  • 0bsessions

    That was an immediate thought for me. That bone-chilling laugh has to be murder on the throat.

  • Lufio

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At least Mark Hamill will ALWAYS be the voice of the Joker in my head when I read comic books. Is it possible for DC to cast a sound alike? I’d totally do it if it were alright with Mr. Hamill.

    I cannot over-emphasize how spectacular his portrayal of the Joker has been.

  • 13

    Great guy, left a lasting mark on an iconic character. I respect his choice to move on but he’ll be sorely missed.

    Though I would love to see him return for one last run with the Joker — in next years animated adaptation of Dark Knight Returns. It would be a fantastic way to go out.

  • demoncat_4

    will be unreal to hear the joker speak in future batman things and know its not mark any more guess this means he will not do the joker in the animated version of dark knight returns.

  • Mista Synista

    If you want to imagine what the Joker will sound like without Joke Skywalker….see this past week’s episode of Young Justice! Why So Serious indeed! Oh well, i guess I’m going to take my time with Arkham City and cherish the moment. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    I think it wouldn’t be money that brought him back. It would be the project. He gets plenty of voice work elsewhere, he doesn’t need the money that badly. And it would probably cheapen the role for him, which is a big reason he’s quitting while ahead.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    They already started having other VA’s do the Joker. John DiMaggio did a great job in Under the Red Hood and Brent Spiner did a horrible job in Young Justice (those are just recent ones, ever since the DCAU died, there have been a variety of Jokers).

  • DefConPrime28

    Now what are the odds of him being a live action Joker? Cmon, in Jay and Silent Bob Strike back, he was funny, and he can be sinister, and I hate to say this, he does have a scarred up face too.

    I think he can pull off and older Joker ala The Dark Knight by Miller……anyone else agree?

  • DefConPrime28

    oh I too feel like I’ve been clubbed with a crowbar and left to blow up

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LFHOEUG3QJAEWPNI2CFIOYD6EM Katie

    This is so sad! Before I had ever had the pleasure of picking up a real Batman comic, Mark Hamill made me fall in love with The Joker and the world of Batman as well. I would even go so far as to say that it was his Joker that inspired me at such a young age into a love of comics, and now a study of art and the pursuit of a career in comics. He was definitely THE BEST man to portray The Joker.

  • Ahero4Hyr

    ALL YOU NERDS……GET A LIFE

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724583311 Jeff Kraschinski

    We have lives. However, it’s disturbing to have an actor leave a role you enjoyed hearing him in, when he so perfectly captured the varying nuances of the character. Especially so when he’s essentially been THE voice of the character for a whole generation.

    Few actors hit all the nuances nearly as well as Hamill. I daresay Kevin Conroy is another.

  • Mmcool125

    I never did realize that Mark Hammil voiced the Joker for almost 20 years. WOW!!!

    I mean I never realize just how good that guy was and how he brought both humor and horror to the character.

    He will be missed in the DCAU. :(

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J6IDQDXDUAJRL7ET5P7UH3VWMU Demontre

    I loved John DiMaggio as the Joker in ‘Under the Red Hood’, and I grew to enjoy him more and more as I watched that movie. He would be a good replacement for Mark. But Mark mastered it, and he can never be truly replaced. Sure, Heath Ledger did a damn good job, and completely recreated the character, but Mark Hamill’s Joker will always be my favorite. R.I.P., Mark Hamill’s Joker (In more ways than one).

  • Paul

    Jacob, the character of Joker in Young Justice was horrible – in my opinion, a complete injustice to the Joker.

    Mark Hamill has said he would reprise his role if an adaption of The Killing Joke was made, so fingers crossed.  He shall be missed!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    So… you agree?

  • Sarcastic Sceptic

    “he’s always voicing joker when I read him in comic books”
    Do you have Mark Hamill as your butler reading you comics?