Barlowe was a rival of the Joker. Terminally ill, he pretended to leave his wealth to his old enemy. He also made a videotape shortly before his death, saying the inheritance was a scam to get the Joker into an impossible jam: when the I.R.S. came to claim a sizable inheritance tax, Joker would discover that most of his fortune was counterfeit, a fact that he couldn't admit without becoming a laughingstock in the Gotham underworld. Barlowe concluded the message by saying that he got the last laugh after all, laughing in advance at his old enemy's predicament before coughing and gasping, but still managed to smile at his rival's misfortune, causing Joker to shoot the television in impotent rage.