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Practically Joker

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Clockwise: The Joker, Presto-Change-o, The Trickster (Earth-3) and the Painted Doll. All but the Painted Doll have been portrayed by the same guy.
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Just as Batman is one of the most popular superheroes of all time, his Arch-Enemy The Joker is one of the most popular supervillains. And much like how the Batman Parody is an Expy of Batman, the Joker Impersonator is modeled after the Clown Prince of Crime. A chaotic and unhinged villain with a tendency for slasher smiles and a usually bombastic attitude, the Joker Impersonator tends to have at least a few of the following traits

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It's worth noting that the Joker's design was largely inspired by Conrad Veidt's depiction of Gwynplaine, from the 1928 film adaptation of The Man Who Laughs. Unlike the Joker, however, Gwynplaine was a wholly good character who simply looked disturbing because of the Glasgow Smile he suffered from. Compare Darth Vader Clone, a character modeled after another iconic villain.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker himself has a number of in-universe copycats in the DC universe. He likes to use the Joker Venom to turn people into copies of himself complete with maniacal laughter, bleached skin, and green hair.
    • Dark Nights: Metal introduces the Dark Knights, evil alternate Bruce Waynes who also take traits with other characters, and represent dark paths Batman could've taken. Their ring-leader is the Batman Who Laughs, the Bruce Wayne of Earth-22 who was corrupted by Joker Venom after killing his version of the Joker. Representing Batman's fear of becoming as bad as the Joker, he has Batman's methodical mind mixed with the Joker's love of chaos. He considers himself Eviler Than Thou to the Joker, which the Joker actually agrees with,and he was willing to team up with Batman to stop him.
    • Teen Titans: Duela Dent, a.k.a. The Joker's Daughter, dresses up as a Distaff Counterpart of the Clown Prince of Crime, and even claims to be his daughter, though eventually it's determined she is the daughter of Two-Face (or rather, a female Two-Face and heroic version of the Joker from a Mirror Universe). Unlike most examples of this trope she's a heroic character... at least until the New 52, where she becomes a psychopathic young woman obsessed with the idea of serving the Joker, even wearing his cut-off face.
    • Out of universe, The Trickster I (James Jesse) from The Flash is seen as the Lighter and Softer version of the Joker, having a circus theme with all kind of toys and clown stuff used as weapons and being on the wrong side of the law. However, he's more calm and focused, and the craziness of his persona is only seen in their robberies and acts against Flashes rather than with the Rogues. His successor (Axel Walker, known as the Trickster II), however, is more Ax-Crazy and became more of a Circus Brat, being closer than his predecessor to the Joker.
    • The story "Panic at the Midnight Rodeo" from the Dog Days of Summer Special introduced Bat-Cow's archenemy, an untameable, green-tinted, and lipsticked rodeo steer named Laffa-Bull who tramples, gores, and otherwise maims people For the Evulz.
  • Hack/Slash has April Fool, a female mass murderer from another universe who dresses like a sexy clown and tries to make all her crimes sadistically funny. Cassie, not having Batman's inhibitions about killing people, hangs her.
  • Marvel Comics:
  • Nemesis has its titular character, who answers the question of "what if Batman was the Joker?" A rich playboy decked in white, who constantly outwits law enforcement and does various horrible things and mind-games For the Evulz. Like the Joker, his true identity is a mystery as he lies about his backstory, merely stating that he's "rich and bored".
  • The premise of Oxymoron was deliberately done as "what if there was a Joker, but no Batman?" The titular Oxymoron is a psychopathic killer with a rictus grin, his costume a white ski-mask and a white suit and red tie. His goal is to kill all Hypocrites and contradictions everywhere, but with the various logical hurdles he goes to to accuse his victims of such, it is very likely this is just an excuse to murder indiscriminately. Like various incarnations of the Joker, he also winds up inspiring a legion of copy-cats.
  • Promethea has the Painted Doll, a mass-murdering "omnipath" who is hero-worshipped by in-universe edgelords and dresses like a Pierrot. He has Joker Immunity, which is finally explained by the revelation that he is a series of robots created by a secretly-villainous Gadgeteer Genius hero, a new one being activated whenever one is destroyed. Close to the end of the comic, all the existing robots are simultaneously activated - they proceed to destroy one another until only one is left, who announced his intention to go straight.
  • Stormwatch PHD introduces Serial Killer Pagliacci as a clear Joker expy, a clownish thrill-killer with next to no information about him. Unlike the Joker, he's obsessed with drama and tragedy rather than dark comedy, befitting his namesake.
  • Wanted: With his fitting Slasher Smile, psychopathic tendencies, and Black Comedy, series antagonist Mr Rictus is an obvious send-up of the Clown Prince of Crime.
  • Watchmen:
  • Supreme gives us Jack-a-Dandy. His nemesis is Batman expy Professor Night, and he shares Joker's green and purple color scheme. While equally crazy, he's not interested in laughs, but rather style: he's foppish and effeminate, and makes sure his Death Traps are beautifully-decorated. He's nevertheless shown to have killed people on a whim.
  • In The Wrong Earth, both versions of Number One are clear expies of the Joker, with the Earth-Alpha version being based on Cesar Romero's portrayal and the Earth-Omega version being based on the more modern Joker.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Skyfall: The Big Bad, Raoul Silva, was confirmed be inspired by the Joker, with bleached hair, an unnerving grin that's entirely false, and a love of spreading chaos.

    Literature 
  • Being a satire of sexism in superhero comics in which all the characters are a very recognisable Cast of Expies, Catherynne M. Valente's The Refrigerator Monologues inevitably includes a Joker-equivalent, Mr. Punch, a serial killer who mutilated himself to look like a marionette, frequently gets sent to a mental hospital, has an obsession with dark vigilante "Grimdark", and has a hero-worshipping, equally-deranged girlfriend who he murders.
  • Gary Gwynplaine from The Golden House, who was born with pale white skin and green hair, and wears a purple suit. He's called "Joker" through most of the novel, and is an extended Take That! against Donald Trump.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrowverse:
    • Being different than his comic book counterpart, the Trickster from The Flash is closer to the Joker in the series, having a sense of chaos and even been as campy as any of Batman's Rogues Gallery from the old '60s series. He's portrayed by Mark Hamill, who'd soon go on to being the Joker's voice actor in Batman: The Animated Series. He ends up reprising the role of the Trickster in the 2014 series, again portraying him closer to the Joker than his namesake.
    • Arrow:
      • Cecil Adams/The Count was stated by his actor to have his performance based off the Joker. That is, he's a complete psycho who gets off from the suffering of others.
      • Lonnie Machin/Anarky is a Bomb Throwing Anarchist who giggles with glee as he spreads chaos and terror across the city. He's also a Combat Sadomasochist who enjoyed being burned alive and thinks of it as being reborn.
      • Prometheus takes a lot of cues from the Joker, being the psychotic Arch-Enemy and Evil Counterpart of The Hero who is a Batman analogue. He is deeply obsessed with ruining the hero's life, being completely depraved of humanity and dedicates his entire life to his cause. This becomes even more apparent in Season Six where he returns as a Vertigo induced hallucination to haunt Oliver, very much like Joker did to Batman in Batman: Arkham Knight, establishing himself as the one enemy Oliver can never be truly rid of.
  • Before Gotham introduced the real Joker, Jerome Valeska served as the proto-Joker. A very deliberate example in this case due to the show being done by a DC-sanctioned take on Batman, so the writers were constrained by Warner Brothers' insistence that the Joker be used specifically in their DCU films. Jerome ends up being the Joker in all but name, having his characterization derived from several different versions of the Joker and being explicitly said to be a tribute to the Clown Prince of Crime. Though originally created as a one-off possible identity of the Jokernote . However, Monaghan's performance proved so popular that Jerome promoted to this, becoming essentially the show's take on the Joker for the first four seasons and, as mentioned in the Decomposite Character section, taking on many of the iconic Joker traits. Fittingly, he was responsible for giving rise to the real Joker of Gotham.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Mutants & Masterminds:
    • The Conqueror Worm in the Freedom City setting is an Evil Albino who, despite his weird conviction that he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist punishing "sinners", is basically an Ax-Crazy lunatic who kills people for no real reason except he can. His belief that he and the Raven are Not So Different means that even after his death, he's still one of the few villains who gets under Duncan Summers's skin. He even had a Harley counterpart named Ligeia.
    • Blood Wing in Halt Evil Doer!. The greatest enemy of the first Black Wing, he was a scarred psychotic who is believed to have killed thousands of people, and his obsession with Black Wing stems from a horrific example of Create Your Own Villain (he was the murderer of Black Wing's family, and Black Wing left him tied up in a burning house. He later appeared claiming to have done a deal with Satan for revenge). Like Conqueror Worm, he's officially dead (killed by the Psychotic Seven, possibly as a Thanatos Gambit), but he's a Legacy Character: between his online Manifesto of Blood and his possibly having survived as a walk-in spirit, there's always someone twisted enough to put on the Blood Wing costume. (In a way, this is the ultimate Multiple-Choice Past — any given Blood Wing might have a different past because he's a different person, but once someone's become Blood Wing, it doesn't really matter who they were before.)

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Knight has an in-universe example with the Joker Infected, who are infected with the Joker's blood and show different aspects of the Joker's personality; Christina got his obsession with Batman, Johnny his theatrical flourishes, and Albert his brutality. As later revealed, Henry Adams gets his brilliant scheming. The last infected victim turns out to be Batman himself, who is poised to receive the full package.
  • Devil May Cry: Jester, a form of Arkham is based off the Joker and was almost named as such. He's a Monster Clown who despite how evil he is can be pretty funny.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Dhoulmagus is a magical jester and similar to the Joker in many ways. Like the Joker, he's a Monster Clown that tends to make things serious, and a dark-humored figure who enjoys his kills.
  • Clown from Fighters Dynamite series is the Sub Boss of the series, and a Monster Clown with various circus-themed weapons and tarot cards. Different from many of the expies, he's an ugly man who hides under an harlequin mask. He finds himself as a narcissist and likes pretty boys, and it's implied he's homosexual.
  • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo is similar to the Joker, though put in a fantasy setting. A mad jester with white clownish make-up, he's dedicated to causing chaos and suffering For the Evulz, with a large part of his broken psychology being he finds life and love worthless. And like what happens to any group who thinks they can control the Joker, Kefka turns on his superiors.
  • Fu'un Series has a villain properly called as "Joker". The leader of the Looly Po Po, a criminal organization, Joker is a demented psycho who loves chaos and disorder, who's also dressed as a clown with Rollerblade Good and Hidden Weapons. He enjoys making people suffer and thinks it all to be just a joke. He only enters both tournament organized by King Lion just for fun and to get his attention because he seems more funny than him.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the titular, vibrantly colored mask contain an incredibly violent and petty spirit. Majora's Mask has a sketchy backstory at best (it was said to be used by an unnamed tribe for rituals), and it's crimes range from trying to drop a moon on Termina to poisoning the water supply of a civilization to knocking over old ladies, all out of amusement and/or boredom.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword gives Ghirahim a primarily white color scheme with hints or red, yellow, and black, making him look somewhat like a jester or a Renaissance clown. Behind his easygoing exterior, he's particularly vicious by the standards of Demise's army, often issuing colorful death and torture threats over being delayed in his quest to revive his master. Other than being a sword of Demise that can take on a sentient form, he has no backstory whatsoever.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has Yuga, a Monster Clown with mostly purple clothing. He has no detailed backstory, although he is eventually revealed to be Princess Hilda's right-hand man and advisor. Although he supposedly acts to save Lorule from destruction, his actual end goal is to annihilate both it and Hyrule so he can make new worlds in his own image, just because thinks of both as "hideous."
  • Metroid has a non-human version of this in the form of Ridley. Bearing a purple coloration (which is also associated with Joker) and a very sadistic sense of humor, he is a cunning beast who has an irrational desire to slaughter whatever he sees, even ordering his fellow Space Pirates to enjoy killing as much as they can. Ridley has no detailed upbringing apart from being the commander of Space Pirates, and the mutual Arch-Enemy of Samus Aran. Ruthlessly killing her mother and indirectly her father, Ridley even rubs this fact in her face during their reunion to try and break her already traumatized spirit. Deeply enjoying the suffering of weak lifeforms and causing death and slaughter only because It Amused Me, he believes in a Might Makes Right philosophy - nature sides only with the strongest, and the weak are only their cattle - while considering all other ideals "weak".

    Web Animation 
  • The Society of Virtue epsiode "Society of Disvirtue" introduces Pierrot, a clown supervillain that was let out of jail when he answered a Rorschach test correctly.

    Web Videos 
  • The first episode of Save the Supers features the Jokester as villain, who's pretty much the Joker with orange hair. Unfortunately for him, the local Batman expy, Night Knight, is a bit trigger-happy and the Jokester gets killed on his first appearance.

    Western Animation 
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • The Creeper in The New Batman Adventures was originally Jack Ryder, a news anchorman who tries doing a biographical expose on the Joker, only for the Joker himself to show up and kill him for doing so without his permission. He gets a face-full of joker-gas before falling into the same chemical solution that made the Joker into what he is. The unique chemical compound turns his skin orange and his hair green, as well as giving him enhanced strength, speed and reflexes. The process turns him into a crazed loon, but not the same, sociopathic extent as the Joker, with sightings of him causing others to confuse him for a copycat. While he starts off wanting revenge on the Joker, he soon drops this when he sees Harley and becomes a relentless Abhorrent Admirer. By the end of the episode, the Creeper's antics become so bad that the Joker himself crawls up to Batman on his hands and knees looking for help.
      Joker: He's a lunatic!
    • Being based in the series, the Trickster from Justice League is entirely based on the aforementioned The Flash series, also being voiced by Mark Hamill just as he did in The Flash (1990), being more as a ported version than an adaptation from the comic book counterpart.
    • An in-universe example happens in Batman Beyond with the Jokerz, a street gang of hoodlums who dress up and model themselves after the Joker. When the actual Joker comes back, he's disappointed by them. It's eventually revealed he tried to create a Joker copy by torturing Tim Drake into a "Joker Jr.", which backfired when the traumatized Tim shot him. Who he later possesses to come back from the dead, thanks to a chip on his neck.
  • Darkwing Duck: Quackerjack is an Expy of both the Joker and the Toyman. A deranged toymaker who turned to crime after the video game industry put him out of business, he's a mentally unstable Villainous Harlequin who's goofy and highly eccentric yet dangerous, and knows he's crazy but doesn't care. While he doesn't have a Multiple-Choice Past, it is mysterious compared to the rest of the Fearsome Five as asides from going insane from when his toy company goes under, we know next to nothing about his backstory.
  • The Venture Bros.
    • Boggles the Clue Clown was originally a member of the Council of Thirteen, an oligarchy of super-villains that helped run the Guild of Calamitous Intent under the Sovereign. He was an Expy of both the Joker and The Riddler (having a clown-based gimmick with a penchant for leaving riddles with a rather twisted punchline) before he died of heart disease, his last riddle involving his own dead body and coffin being used as a jack-in-the-box. The Joker analogue is pushed further since his arch-enemy was Captain Sunshine, who is voiced by Kevin Conroy (most famous for playing Batman in the DC Animated Universe).
    • Presto Change-O is a villainous jester who likes to make jokes. Strengthening the comparison is that he's voiced by Mark Hamill, who voiced the Joker in the DCAU and other media.
    • The Wild Fop, while mostly based on Oscar Wilde, has the white makeup and facial features of The Joker. His voice also brings to mind Jeff Bennet's interpretation in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Zombozo from Ben 10 is a Monster Clown supervillain and a frequent nemesis of Ben Tennyson, who had huge issues with him due to a phobia of clowns. Bonus points in that all of Zombozo's voice actors have played The Joker at some point.
  • The Justice Friends segment of Dexter's Laboratory featured a villain called the Disgruntled Postman, who resembled the Joker dressed like a postal worker and was just as crazy as the Clown Prince of Crime himself.

 
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