DC Animated Universe

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The Madness Behind The Laughter

Title card of Joker: The Madness Behind The Laughter

Joker: The Madness Behind The Laughter was a live TV special and documentary hosted by news anchorman Jack Ryder. The special documented the story of Gotham City's most notorious criminal the Joker.


On the seven-year anniversary of the Joker's creation, news anchorman Jack Ryder decided to broadcast a live TV special and documentary that would narrate the story of Gotham City's most notorious criminal. Said and done, Ryder visited the Ace Chemical Plant, where the hitman who became the Joker was transformed, and with his cameramen started the filming of the special following some investigation.[1]

The special started to tell the ambiguous origins of the Joker, revealing that he started his career as a criminal and went to use several aliases while performing his tasks. He went to serve as chauffeur and hitman for the Valestra mob, specifically as the right hand of the criminal family's leader Salvatore Valestra. Eventually, he broke his ties with the Valestras to create his own gang. One night, however, while his gang robbed the Ace Chemical Plant, Batman appeared on scene to stop him and his goons. During the ensuing fight, Batman knocked the hitman into a vat of chemicals, transforming him into the Joker.[1]

The special, as seen by Bruce Wayne from his manor, was very detailed on what was once his archenemy's early life, including a dramatization of the incident that transformed his enemy and in which he himself participated, plus a photograph of the Joker during his days as a hitman for the Valestra family along with gangster Chuckie Sol, businessman Carl Beaumont and former councilman Arthur Reeves. The special, however, unexpectedly culminated when the Joker himself, aided by his groupie Harley Quinn and his thugs Mo, Lar and Cur, interrupted the filming to try to turn Ryder into what he became, although the plan ended up turning Ryder into something different.[1]


The New Batman Adventures


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gerber, Steve (writer) & Fogel, Rich (story) & Riba, Dan (director) (November 7, 1998). "Beware the Creeper". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 23 (production). Season 2. Kids WB!.