Ahh, Batman: The Animated Series, one of the greatest cartoons of all time. This show spawned a successful shared universe long before the MCU was a thought, and it gave my generation its definitive Batman and Joker: Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.
Sadly, I was too young to watch this it as a kid. I wasn’t even born yet when the Christmas episode came out. That’s right, I watched Christmas with the Joker for today’s special. Of course, how can we not talk about the episode without it’s a most important moment? The moment where the world got the voice that would be synonymous with The Joker to this very day?
Animation history was just made, people. I am only sorry I was not here to see it myself.
At any rate, Joker decides to spend the holiday with his family. Since he doesn’t have one, though, he decides to mess with Batman and Robin’s Christmas by kidnapping their friends: Commissioner Gordon, Summer Gleeson, and Harvey Bullock.
So the hunt is on for the Joker before he kills the police officers, but Joker has plenty of distractions in store. He blows up a bridge to derail a train, turns the observatory on Mount Gotham into a cannon, and then sics an army of toys on the duo. The last one happens to the tune of the Nutcracker Suite.
The episode is not particularly memorable in the grand scheme of things, as we know Batman and Robin will stop the Joker like always. Still, I like this episode because one, it’s Christmas, and two, it was the start of Mark Hamill’s legendary tenure as the Joker. After the original Star Wars trilogy ended, I don’t think he got that many big roles, but I could be wrong. The Joker ended being one of his best performances, though, and it gave him a new career as a voice actor. For that reason alone, I think this episode deserves to be remembered.
Batman eventually takes down the Joker, the cops are saved, and Batman, Robin, and Alfred spend Christmas watching a recording of It’s a Wonderful Life. Personally, I think Joker did all this because he just wanted to spend Christmas with Batman. That idea reeks of crazy logic, but I think it makes sense considering how obsessed Joker is with Batman. Then again, I could be wrong. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Oh, yeah I forgot: I met Kevin Conroy at NYCC one year, and he is super nice.