Best Joker: Heath Ledger vs. Joaquin Phoenix
Playing the Joker can take everything out of you, learn how Joaquin Phoenix transformed himself into the iconic character, right here!:
The Joker... versus the Joker. Heath Ledger... versus Joaquin Phoenix. Two incredible actors … one role. Join WatchMojo as we pit the late, great Heath Ledger against living legend Joaquin Phoenix to see who gave us the superior big screen incarnation of iconic Batman villain, the Joker, from their portrayals in "The Dark Knight" (2008) and "Joker" (2019), respectively. Come along as we evaluate a wide-range of categories to determine which interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime reigns supreme. Which Joker performance is your favorite? Let us know why in the comments below!
Check out more awesome Joker content from WatchMojo below:
Top 10 Reasons Joker Will Blow Your Mind:
Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Joker (2019):
Why Joaquin Phoenix Is Meant to Be the Joker:
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    Learn how Joaquin Phoenix transformed himself into the Joker, right here!:

    • Swallow Hollow
      Swallow Hollow

      Heath ledger should do asmar as the joker

    • the nostalgic gamer
      the nostalgic gamer

      Yeah it's not purple

    • Mr Nagger
      Mr Nagger


    • The PUNISHER
      The PUNISHER

      @Tweety Kid Thats bcz u have no taste in films

    • Tweety Kid
      Tweety Kid

      I must be the only person who wasn't moved by Ledger's performance. He was a great actor. I am glad he recieved the Oscar. He is deeply respected in that role by most of the planet.

  • The Football channel
    The Football channel

    All I can see is this about it the dark knight is my favourite film ever because of the jokes and I watch it over and over and over again and for some reason I wouldn’t watch the he joker over and over just for his performance

  • Thomas Weatherington
    Thomas Weatherington

    Thats not purple, its maroon

  • Mandy Brown
    Mandy Brown

    Before Joaquin Phoenix showed up, it was definitely Heath Ledger all the way. But now I would say it's impossible to compare the two (not only as they BOTH hit a perfect 10 with their character) but also because they both are on such completely different dynamics / sides of the Joker. One (Joaquin Phoenix) wins the most realistic version of the Joker. As all villains have vulnerabilities and weaknesses (no matter how brilliant they are). The other (Heath Ledger) has far more edge, even though the Dark Knight version of Joker had far less vulnerabilities. Heath played the style to the same amount of perfection in performance as Joaquin did. So, that's like asking which diamond is better - when they are BOTH perfectly cut and clear. Perfections done in different shapes. So, now it's impossible to choose, because you just can't. I vote for both. They both did much better than all the other Jokers we have ever had. It's a tie. Jack Nicholson comes in as second, but then again - the script they gave him was cheesy.

  • Eddie Night TV
    Eddie Night TV

    Imagine if we had a stand alone film of Heath Lefger's Joker 👀

  • Bama0539

    I would’ve liked to seen if they switched and did each others roles how that would’ve looked

  • ACE

    Whoever created Jared Leto's version of the Joker is the worse...

  • ashish sharma
    ashish sharma

    Helth letgher is best not anyone take


    Well, you know what they say. "In every deck of cards there's always 2 jokers" 🃏🃏

  • Agrias Oaks
    Agrias Oaks

    4:35 I disagree with Joaquin Pheonix laugh "upping the creepy factor". When I heard that laugh, I felt bad for him.... He couldn't control things around him, so it must of been infuriating to not have self control of his response to situations (laughing) sometimes either.

  • Dreadnought25

    Not agreeing with this at all... Heath: the smartest and most serious joker who doesn't laugh too much Pheonix: the real joker who thinks chaos and violence are funny

  • WhatInTheDeepestShadeOfFeck

    They are two faces of the same coin, but both wonderfully unique, thanks to the amazing depth of both the actors and the character. I will always prefer the way that Ledger portrayed Joker, but the Phoenix movie is a piece of art. For those reasons, I cannot separate them.

  • Mysterious Khushi
    Mysterious Khushi


  • mehran Lidtiham
    mehran Lidtiham

    There is not One Joker To discuss about. Ledger's Joker is an Anarchism whose Badness cause to understand Batman's Rule and Orders Phoenix's Joker is a nihilism guy whose actions are individualy personalized but when it become socialized turn to a movement while joker does not plan to. We sympathize with Phoenix's joker because of his deep personal senses which never allowed to be accepted in sociaty. We admire Ledger's joker because he showed even in dark path there are some human realities which our fears cause to ignore.

  • Evie Smith
    Evie Smith

    I never watched many DC movies, as i used to prefer marvel. But after my sister convinced me to watch the joker movie I think I need to watch all of the DC movies now. Until I have though I prefer Phoenix’s joker

  • Tagailog May Pagasa
    Tagailog May Pagasa

    jared leto has left the room

  • Ian Mac
    Ian Mac

    Not close at all..Heath Ledger 5-0

  • Styne Virtudazo
    Styne Virtudazo

    I love them both

  • PabloM187

    It was not close!!!! HL all the way

  • PabloM187

    Phoenix is a crybaby in his Anakin Skywalker

  • PabloM187



    I don't see how people can even compare the two. Phoenix isnt even a good joker. The "Joker" would have been better as a stand alone movie, rather then then to try to emulate or recreate an iconic character. That is well established as a criminal mastermind, and has a high iq capable of coercing anybody to his will no matter how criminally insane the act. The Phoenix joker was just a mentally ill man that had fallen through the cracks of society unable to get the help he needed. Not to mention his intelligence was below average and he was socially awkward.

  • Junior

    I don't mean no disrespect at all when I say this... But y'all need to stop "clowning" Jared Leto's Joker. He did the best he could. Stop saying he is a joke. It's rude and disrespectful. And to all the people who make fun of Jared Leto's Joker until I see/hear that you got casted the role of the Joker and you deal with the pressure of playing this character... Stop it. To be completely honest, I love every last Joker ever created. All the actors over the years who have played the Joker did they best they could why doesn't anyone else see that?

  • Junior

    I'm conflicted. I like both of them. 😍 Round 1: Both of them Round 2: Both of them Round 3: I think Heath took this one. (But I like both of them). Round 4: I think Joaquin took this one. (But I still like both of them).still Round 5: Both of them killed his voice. Both of these actors win frfr. Joker was portrayed by of these actors perfect. I do prefer Heath Ledger version of Joker but both of these actors did perfect. Joaquin Phoenix's Joker has also become one of my favorite Jokers. That's why if someone where to ask me who played Joker better between these 2 males... I wouldn't be able to choose. 😍

  • Nida Munir
    Nida Munir

    tough call, i loved both

  • Renzel Decena
    Renzel Decena

    Ha ha ha comparing the origin and its prime much to think its a comedy

  • Ice Lly
    Ice Lly

    it isn't fair to compare either jokers due to the fact both jokers are joker during two time periods in jokers life and would require different needs for the role of joker.

  • X0 Mystic 0X
    X0 Mystic 0X

    Joker has a deep secret

  • JordanMoes

    I mean they're both great, but yooo.... where my by Cameron Monaghan at, or Jack Nicholson

  • BOrna Jt
    BOrna Jt

    Ledger’s Joker wanted to watch the world burn because he saw the world as a joke. Joaquin’s Joker wanted to watch the world burn because the world saw him as a joke

  • Fuck ur feelings
    Fuck ur feelings

    It's a tough one but I gotta give this one to Heath, he was phenomenal.

  • Starlight1929 ss
    Starlight1929 ss

    I don't think there can be an actor who can play Joker better than him at least for another 9 years. Was he the main character of the movie like Phoenix?No. But was he the one that was talked about the most when someone opens a conversation about movie for these 9 years?Yes. Than that means he really left a huge effect on us.

  • Mr RockNRoll
    Mr RockNRoll

    Both are the best although Phoenix is the most accurate portrayal... They are both good

  • David Pryor
    David Pryor

    10:54 exactly!! Because it wasnt always the joker. He hadn’t truly became the joker till the end. He was a normal guy and over the course of events in the movie he transformed slowly into the joker meanwhile heaths joker was always full blown joker from the get-go

  • David Pryor
    David Pryor

    This is unfair .., considering heath passed away a lot of people will give it to him just because of his early death. But realistically you can’t really compare the 2 since heath played joker when he was full blown joker but Phoenix played an origin of joker , he was never full blown joker till the very end. So one is the joker n the other is the person before he becomes the joker Tough to compare

  • 1 6
    1 6

    Phoenix is the best joker made scense has a laughing disorder then he went to laugh when he felt like it

  • Just a Dancing Hotdog
    Just a Dancing Hotdog

    I'm just happy we don't have to deal with Jared Leto (notice how I didn't say "Jared Leto's Joker")

  • Ace Of Spades
    Ace Of Spades

    As ledger said himself, when you cross an unstoppable with an immovable object paradox happens. Both are just good in their own categories.

  • Ace Of Spades
    Ace Of Spades

    4:48 well heath kinda confessed he wasn’t a schemer when taking to Harvey so...

  • Areen Shah
    Areen Shah

    they both are same one starting one finishing

  • Mason Batty
    Mason Batty

    I think they are even

  • creAstale games
    creAstale games

    Heath is serious joker. but Joaquin is a really joker (if you agree) because Joaquin laughing in movie. but Heath is good actor for joker (if you agree) . Like he don't scare of batman. If Joaquin will see batman i think (laught).

  • Banana Split
    Banana Split

    I think this is draw

  • Tracy Amster
    Tracy Amster

    Ledger played “the Joker”. Phoenix played “Arthur Fleck (?)”. The Joker is defined by his obsession with Batman and wanting to create chaos. Arthur is more of a victim of the system and circumstance. Plus we can deduce that Phoenix was in his late 30s-early 40s as Joker. This would put him in at least in his 60s when he faces off with Batman. We don’t KNOW if Arthur becomes the Joker or just an symbolic like figure in which the identity was assumed by a fanatic (as we know many exist in that world). As far as I’m concerned they both portrayed different characters with similar tendencies.

  • light man
    light man

    Heath Ledger is the true joker

  • BalibagUu Gaming
    BalibagUu Gaming

    Ledger’s joker: he thinks that the world is joke Phoenix’s joker: the world thinks he’s a joke Ctto

    • My Viva
      My Viva

      You stole a comment bruh

  • The Golden Sorcerer
    The Golden Sorcerer

    Ledger will always be the best actor to play the Jokern, but Phoneix is definitely second so far.

  • Axel Maldonado
    Axel Maldonado

    Buuuuuut.... Heath stole all 33 mins he was in. JP had about 2 hrs lol

  • Keith Brandon
    Keith Brandon

    Phoenix is better and more realistic in my opinion...realism is what appeals to me. Ledger was really good. I think people like Ledger's antics ....he's more animated. Phoenix was just a troubled man.....Its like......people would pick scarface over Michael , character her wise.


    I that Joaquin Phoenix did a great job but did people forget how Insane people went when the dark knight came out people were losing their shit

  • Tilman Boeck
    Tilman Boeck

    No question at all: Heath Ledger ist by far the best Joker.

  • Telis TheCypriot7
    Telis TheCypriot7

    they didn't follow the real story of the real joker at Joaquin Phoenix so for me, Heath Ledger was way better if i had to choose a new updated version of the joker then the suicide squad joker is what i would go with

  • AF Plays
    AF Plays

    Seeing the comments and slamming my head against the wall 😂... the film "Joker" isn't really based on the backstory of Joker, it is based on mental illness.... so you can't compare them with each other, if your looking for the superhero/villian shit.... Heath Ledger wins

  • Aidan 123
    Aidan 123

    Heath ledger would always be the best joker

  • Badass Frank Henry
    Badass Frank Henry

    The Dark Knight was the best comic book based movie ever made IMO. The Joker, I didn't really care for it honestly.

  • Satyam Sharma
    Satyam Sharma

    I stll think Heath was the best Joker ever whereas Phoenix was a great Arthur Fleck.....

  • Brandon Davis
    Brandon Davis

    I didn’t want to but I watched the new joker. I considered it to be a rather rude move to try to remake the joker after Heaths recent performance. That was uncool regardless. But I watched the new joker and I think Phoenix did a good job acting. I think he portrayed the character he intended very well. But his joker was actually kind of a bitch. Sorry. He was pretty soft. Now Heath on the other hand. His joker was carved from solid steel. His joker was a ruthless badass. I’ve heard theories of how Heath’s joker was a frontline veteran. A door kicker. A man pushed to the brink. Forgotten and abandoned. So he formed his own justice. Through chaos. Sorry. We’re kinda fucked up. But Heath gave us the joker. Phoenix tried and failed. Best possible attempt. But nowhere near enough.

  • HeyGuysItsYoBoiJoJo


    • Red Soldier
      Red Soldier

      It's a purple mixed with something

  • nintendomomcat1

    Dare not to compare and take anything away from these amazing actors who did an incredible job keeping you at the edge of your seat and hungry for the next scene. To compare makes one have to choose and it's not applicable. Both, did a job worth equal praise, putting their own unforgettable twist and personality fully into their character! Winner? Phoenix and Ledger. Period. Sorry mojo, but having to sit thru this video and feel bad that either was less in the end? I have only one word to say...DISLIKE!

  • Kobe Gigi
    Kobe Gigi

    How are you comparing this is making me laugh like the Joker... You cannot compare them based on these...seriously! 😂😂😂

  • Kehn's Konvos
    Kehn's Konvos

    You can compare their effort into becoming the Joker but you can *never* and I mean never compare their Jokers. Ledger was Joker fully developed Phoenix was Fleck becoming the Joker It's just not sensible

  • Lx Knight
    Lx Knight

    2019 joker is the story of joker, 2008 joker is joker now

  • Rahman Mhate
    Rahman Mhate

    Phoenix was the better Joker.

  • Jin Apelu
    Jin Apelu

    This has got to be the best video you guys!!!👌👏👍😘

  • Nikhil Yadav
    Nikhil Yadav

    Heath Ledger is best.... He showed the madness and cracks of the system he gains power from.. Joaquin Phoenix did great job covering story about Joker.. But still for me Heath Ledger is best...

  • crazzzy futbaler.
    crazzzy futbaler.

    how much joker versions may come...but no one can stop me from loving heath ledger

  • Nimish Parmar
    Nimish Parmar

    I will not this sin comparing Heath and Joaquin.

  • Jeon's Euphoria
    Jeon's Euphoria

    Everyone here saying heath ledger is better, he got to get more deep into madness bcz he was in a superheroes movie stuff. I'm sure if Joaquin was with a batman he would have been in complete madness as well. So there's no much he could do.all the madness he was allowed to get to; was basically limited to real life or real existing or real world, so it was limited to possible craziness. No extreme actions.on the other hand fantasy movies have more creativity then real life case movies. Just imagine there was a batman with Joaquin. I can smell the madness through the screen. Not a joke

    • Hazed d
      Hazed d

      we're comparing a main character with a protagonist. that shows how the protagonist is so good. I mean no hate but Joaquin joker is like depressed and Ledger's Joker is like chatic and does things unplanned that makes him happy

  • emiway bantai
    emiway bantai

    Heath ledger is always best

  • DJ Lake Sea
    DJ Lake Sea

    So true when she said that we hang off every word that Heath Joker says. There's a reason he won an Oscar for it. And OMG that scene when he blows up the hospital: Fun Fact, Heath Ledger ad-libbed it. It was supposed to blow up the first time he presses the detonator, but the explosives failed in real life, so Heath had to think quick and press it again and again because it wasn't a CGI explosion. It was a real building rigged that had to be done in one take. (source from IMDB)