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Joker (Early Cartoons)

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Joker Superfriends

As might be expected for a perennial arch-nemesis, The Joker was a recurring villain in earlier Batman cartoons, most prominent in the 1968 Filmation Associates cartoon, The Adventures of Batman, the first such animated adventures of the hero. Comedian Larry Storch (of F-Troop fame) provided the voice. These cartoons were created before the primary DC Animated Universe, where Mark Hamill had his most iconic animated role.

Storch reprised his role for two crossover episodes of the 1972 series, The New Scooby Doo Movies. He teams up with the Penguin, (voiced by Ted Knight in both episodes and causes trouble for Batman, Robin, and the Mystery Inc. team. He and Penguin attempt to scare the gang using skeleton costumes, but Scooby Doo turns the tables on them when the sight of 'delicious looking bones' overcomes his cowardice and puts the villains on the run. This basic incarnation of Joker was started after Cesar Romero's live action camp version, but before Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams revamped the character back to his psychotic roots
Sesame Street - Batman & Robin Cross the Street00:44

Sesame Street - Batman & Robin Cross the Street

. As a result, this Joker is much more of a prankster and scam artist. He also was featured in a one of a series of DC-themed PSA shorts Filmation created for Sesame Street, with the Joker providing a backhanded lesson on pedestrian safety. (One of these even had the Olan Soule Batman 'meeting' Bert & Ernie).

The Joker made five appearances in the 1977 Filmation cartoon, The New Adventures of Batman. The late Lennie Weinrib provided the voice. The series used the same animation models as the 1968 series, so the Joker looked more or less the same. In a harbinger of things to come, in one appearance, he had a pet hyena.

Joker Ace

Joker disguised as Ace.

He had an appearance in The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians in the episode "The Wild Cards". He was voiced by Frank Welker. This episode had a version of the Royal Flush Gang. Ace, the leader of the group, was actually the Joker in disguise assisting Darkseid as a stooge in his latest plot. Batman figured this out when he noticed the Joker's house of cards fortress was missing his own namesake card. The Superfriends later foiled Darkseid's plot. The Joker also appeared in the show's opening animation.

While this was the Joker's one and only appearance during the entire Super Friends continuity, he was originally meant to be a member of the Legion of Doom. However, rights to the character were tied up in The New Adventures Of Batman, so his spot went to Riddler instead. Conversely, Riddler did not appear in The New Adventures Of Batman, except in its opening credits and an offscreen arrest reference in one episode. A scene in the Legion's introduction during Challenge Of The Super Friends shows Riddler grinning while holding up oversized playing cards of the Justice League members, which he then sets ablaze. This scene was originally meant to use Joker.

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