There's a lot of talk about the Joker in this day and age, especially with Joaquin Phoenix's solo movie as the villain causing all sorts of buzz online following its Venice premiere last month. The Joker has become one of the most iconic characters of all time over the years, and he's been known to be one of the world's most deadly and demented villains, but it wasn't always that way. In fact, it used to be quite the opposite back when Cesar Romero played the character on the classic Batman TV series.
One user on Reddit dug up an old interview with Romero in his full Joker makeup from the set of Batman, and he could not have been having a better time playing the character. In the interview, which you can watch below, Romero talks about the origins of Joker's green hair and why his character isn't ever allowed to win at the end of an episode.
"Oh well that's part of the Joker's makeup, you know," Romero says. "I'm not a great student of the Batman comic strip, but I understand that the Joker got the green hair because, in one of the first strips that he appeared in, in making his escape from Batman, he dove into a river that was full of a certain chemical that turned his hair green. So from then on he's had green hair."
At one point during the conversation the interviewer tells Romero she wants to see him win one at some point, to which the actor exclaims that there's no way he's ever allowed to win. As a TV villain in the '60s, the Joker has to lose each and every time.
"Oh you can't win! The villain can't win," he says. "We always win on Wednesday night. At the end of the show on Wednesday night we're winning. But then comes Thursday night and we lose."
Unlike the recent interpretations of the Joker, Romero's take on the character was much more whimsical and carefree, a comic strip version of the dark villain we know today. Because of that different tone, Romero seemed to have the greatest time playing the character.
"Sure, it's a lot of fun. We have a lot of fun doing this show, and we had a lot of fun making the movie. It's a part that you can do everything that you've always been told not to do as an actor. In other words, you can get as hammy as you like and go all out. It's great fun, I enjoy it."
Joker may be dark and dangerous character now, but there's no denying how much fun it's always been to see Romero ham it up as the Clown Prince of Crime. Maybe we need a little more of that sense of humor in today's Joker iterations.