The Joker, arguably the most popular rogue from Batman’s gallery first appeared to antagonize the Dark Knight in Batman #1 published in 1940. Now if you’re a real Bat-Fan then you’ll know that Bob Kane and ghost artist Jerry Robinson “borrowed” the concept for the look of the Clown Prince of Crime from Gwynplaine, played by Conrad Veidt in the 1928 Bill Finger film The Man Who Laughs. Below is the plot synopsis:
Gwynplaine, son of Lord Clancharlie, has a permanent smile carved on his face by the King, in revenge for Gwynplaine’s father’s treachery. Gwynplaine is adopted by a travelling showman and becomes a popular idol. He falls in love with the blind Dea. The king dies, and his evil jester tries to destroy or corrupt Gwynplaine.
Well if you’re at all interested in devouring this slice of pop culture trivia over the Thanksgiving weekend, the entire film is available now on YouTube. We’ve embedded part one below, and if you’re hooked you can just follow the prompts to watch the rest of the film.
Another interesting trivia bit: Ed Brubaker wrote a retelling of Joker’s first appearance in 2005 as the graphic novel The Man Who Laughs. And now you know the rest of the story.
Source: Geek Tyrant