Watch the soap opera inspiration for Harley Quinn

In 1987, Arleen Sorkin played a bizarre dream jester on the classic soap opera Days of our Lives. Watch above. Several years later, that curious character became the inspiration for Harley Quinn on Batman: The Animated Series. Naturally, Sorkin voiced Ms. Quinn.

From Vulture:

In 1987, Sorkin was a regular on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, playing the show’s comic relief: the ditzy, leggy, Noo Yawk–accented Calliope Jones. But unlike her flighty character, Sorkin was a skilled and experienced comedy writer. “I could never just come in and run my lines,” she told Vulture. “I was forever suggesting stuff, probably out of boredom!” So when she went to a screening of the faux-medieval The Princess Bride, an idea struck her: Why not do a fairy-tale dream sequence on Days? The producers were into it and aired an episode in which Calliope acts as a court jester, roller-skating into a throne room and doing some hackneyed borscht belt gags for a royal family.

(Writer Paul) Dini and Sorkin were college friends, and one day, she gave him a VHS tape of her favorite Days moments — including her jester bit. The tape sat idle for years. But in mid 1991, Dini was sick as a dog and popped the tape into his VCR. He was a budding television writer at the time, cranking out freelance scripts for the as-yet-unaired Batman: The Animated Series. He’d been struggling to come up with a female character to use as a one-off in an episode about Batman’s archnemesis, the Joker.

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Podcast: Occupy Gotham

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my essay Occupy Gotham, published in Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, commemorating the 1000th issue of Batman comics. It's an essay about the serious hard problem of trusting billionaires to solve your problems, given the likelihood that billionaires are the cause of your problems.

A thousand issues have gone by, nearly 80 years have passed, and Batman still hasn't cleaned up Gotham. If the formal definition of insanity it trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome, then Bruce Wayne belongs in a group therapy session in Arkham Asylum. Seriously, get that guy some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy before he gets into some *serious* trouble.

As Upton Sinclair wrote in his limited run of *Batman: Class War*[1], "It's impossible to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on his not understanding it."

Gotham is a city riven by inequality. In 1939, that prospect had a very different valence than it has in 2018. Back in 1939, the wealth of the world's elites had been seriously eroded, first by the Great War, then by the Great Crash and the interwar Great Depression, and what was left of those vast fortunes was being incinerated on the bonfire of WWII. Billionaire plutocrats were a curious relic of a nostalgic time before the intrinsic instability of extreme wealth inequality plunged the world into conflict.

MP3

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The best Joker is the woman Joker who snaps after a lifetime of being told to "smile, baby" by shitty men

Last week, Geraldine DeRuiter tweeted a short, sharp alternate character arc for The Joker: "The Joker should have been a woman. And she finally went insane because too many random dudes told her to smile, so now she perpetually smiles while terrorizing Gotham." Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 3, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 2, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 1, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Occupy Gotham: my essay about the class war at the heart of Batman

The book Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman commemorates the 1000th issue of Batman comics; my contribution is an essay called Occupy Gotham, about the terror of letting a billionaire vigilante decide who is and isn't a criminal (featuring Lessig and Piketty jokes!). Read the rest

WATCH: 'Joker' trailer features Joaquin Phoenix as new Batman villain

This might be the best trailer I have ever seen in my life.

Is this teaser trailer for JOKER available as a vape? I want to inhale it nonstop until the movie comes out in October. Read the rest

Bootleg Comics in this week's Cartoonist Kayfabe

Controversial subject matter in this week's episode. Ed Piskor and Jim Rugg showcase a small sample of their favorite unauthorized comics.

Subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe youtube channel for updated comic book coverage every week.

Supplemental Links of comics from the video:

Comics Journal review of Ron Rege Diana (Wonder Woman)

Ron Rege Store Envy

Josh Simmons' Mark of the Bat

Josh Simmons' Twilight of the Bat

David Enos' Batman Lost In the Woods

Benjamin Marra American Psycho

Benjamin Marra Website

Jim Mahfood's Ask For Janice

Tom Neely's Doppleganger

Teddy Goldenberg's Cobra 2

Jim Rugg's Rambo 3.5 Read the rest

Black Batman: an origin story for an alternate superhero

Jamelle Bouie (previously), has proposed an alternate Black Batman, with an accompanying background story that goes beyond race-switching Bruce Wayne and instead looks at the cultural and racial politics of America and finds exactly the right niche where a Black vigilante in a mask would fit. Read the rest

Batman and the Joker settle their differences with a surfing contest

The Cesar Romero "Joker" is the best Joker of all Jokers. Read the rest

Warner Bros. releases first image of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker

We have our first glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker in Warner Bros. upcoming Joker origin story. And we also have The Joker's first name.

From director Todd Phillips' Instagram:

No Country for Old Jokers?

The Daily Mail also published some not-so-official footage from the set, captured last week by paparazzi.

The yet-untitled Joker film is scheduled to open on October 4th, 2019.

Joaquin Phoenix spotted in character as The Joker for the first time as filming starts on the origins story [Daily Mail][PHOTO: PXHere] Read the rest

Jay Leno's got the goods on the Christopher Nolan Batmobile

It's been years since the first of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies hit theaters, bringing with it one of the coolest rides in movie history: this Batmobile. In this video, Jay Leno talks to some of the folks involved in bringing the beast to life on the silver screen. Watchin it bomb around town for expecting motorists to see? Very cool. Read the rest

Adam West's Batman helps kids cross the street safely

On Saturday, the UK's Birmingham City University screened "long-lost" footage of Batman helping youngsters cross the road safely. The clip, starring Adam West as the caped crusader, was shot in May 1967. Read the rest

Someone cut Tommy Wiseau's Joker performance into The Dark Knight

Remember when Tommy Wiseau dressed up as The Joker and delivered some iconic lines from The Dark Knight in his most-imitable style? The fine folks at Bup cut Tommy into the movie, and it's as hilariously horrifying as expected. Read the rest

Tommy Wiseau as The Joker

Nerdist got Tommy Wiseau, of "The Room" infamy, to dress up as Arkham Asylum's most famous resident and run through some classic lines. With firm direction, and a lot of takes, Tommy would be a startlingly good Joker.

After his success in "The Room" and the "The Disaster Artist," Tommy Wiseau has been publicly campaigning for one of the most iconic roles in the history of film: Batman's eternal nemesis, The Joker. As huge fans, we at Nerdist give him a chance to show the world what he can bring to this legendary role!

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