They’ve called the Joker the Clown Prince of Crime and the Harlequin of Hate. He has had multiple live-action incarnations going back 55 years, and has had two different actors win Oscars for portraying him. But one thing he’s never had? His very own sitcom. Well, now he finally achieves the dream of every comedian, thanks to the Harley Quinn animated show. The aggressively cheerful sitcom opening credits began episode six of Harley Quinn‘s third season, titled “Joker: The Killing Vote.”
The official Harley Quinn Twitter account released the full opening sequence of the ’90s-style Joker sitcom that never was, with its earworm of a theme song. And like all good ’90s sitcoms, there is a precocious child sidekick in tow. You can watch it in full right here:
Longtime Batman fans will recognize a ton of references to Joker portrayals from the past. The line “wait ’til they get a load of us?” That’s a direct reference to Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Batman 1989. Of course, the “why so serious” lyric will remind everyone of Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning portrayal of the character from The Dark Knight. The line “you and I are destined to do this forever” is also a Ledger callback.
But it doesn’t end there. The opening lyric “I used to think my life was a tragedy, but now I realize it’s a comedy,” echoes Joaquin Phoenix’s version. And let’s not forget, the “we live in a society” part pays homage to Jared Leto’s Joker from the DCEU. All that’s really missing are nods to Cesar Romero’s Batman ’66 Joker, and Mark Hamill’s Mr. J from Batman: The Animated Series. But hey, it’s only 45 seconds long. We’ll give them a pass.
Harley Quinn season three is currently airing on HBO Max.