Even more so, when you consider that Gwynplaine himself, a wholly good character, was the inspiration for the Joker, a wholly evil character who looks almost exactly like him.
Better Than Canon: The original movie. Unlike the novel wherein, you know, the one where the protagonist and the love interest die.
Crowning Moment of Awesome: "A king made me a clown! A queen made me a Peer! But first, God made me a man!!"
Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: From the 1928 film; Dea's joy at Gwynplaine's return after she believed he had left for good (he had only gone to visit Josiana) spurs him into finally going for broke and revealing his smile to her, through the touch of her hands. After a moment of shock, she proclaims, "God closed my eyes so that I could only see the real Gwynplaine." Gwynplaine's happy tears over her acceptance is rivaled by Ursus' joyful reaction of the newfound courtship.
Funny Moments: In the 2012 film, young Gwynplaine comes out beside Ursus during one of his shows and starts imitating his crazy gestures, thus attracting a crowd of people, and it takes a minute for the latter to notice him.