Monday, October 25, 2010

Batman: TAS - Episode 9 - Be A Clown

Continuing BTAS Vol 1, disc 2, episode 9, Be A Clown, written by Ted Pedersen and Steve Hayes, neither of whom return to write other episodes, so far as I can determine. The director, Frank Paur, goes on to direct several other episodes, among which is the one that introduces the Mad Hatter to the show. As can be surmised by the title, Gotham's Clown Prince of Crime stars as the villain in this episode.

"Together we can make Gotham City a safe place for decent people to live and work and play."

But it doesn't start with the Joker, it starts with Mayor Hill, giving a little speech at the opening of a new housing complex about how he's promised to make Gotham City a safer place to live, cue criminals driving like madmen, tearing through the opening ceremony, chased by the police, smashing things up, nearly killing the Mayor. Of course, Batman comes and saves the day, and Mayor Hill doesn't look quite so good as he would like. He makes a statement about a few rotten apples making the entire city look bad, and further says, "Batman and criminals like The Joker are cut from the same cloth." Joker is not pleased.

"Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else."

Mayor Hill continues and makes the foolhardy statement that he will make all of Gotham as safe as his mansion. "Oh really?" Joker says to himself, "we'll see just how safe your mansion is!" Cut to the next scene of Mayor Hill's son practising magic tricks, as the servants prepare for a huge birthday party in his honor. Mayor Hill is not pleased with his son's current choice of profession, and we see there's some conflict between the boy and his father (as is quite common, I'm sure). The party is ostentiably for the boy, but only people that are important to Mayor Hill's position as mayor have been invited (and their kids).

But Mayor hill has a surprise for his son Jordan and the kids, and a clown rides in on a unicycle, shakes the mayor's hand with a buzzer, does some magic tricks, and in general really impresses the kid, who asks him how he can become a famous magician. The clown says there are three steps: step one, run away from home; step two, find a magician with a great act; step three, steal it. Ha ha, oh how funny. Conveniently, Bruce Wayne arrives with a large box for Jordan, but the kid doesn't care, he wants to hang out with the clown. Hill yells at the boy, who yells back, and runs off.

"This last trick is pure dynamite!"

While Hill chases after his boy, the clown pulls out a large candle with a familiar face on it, and tells everyone this candle blows you out. He plants it in the cake, tells everyone it's time for Jordan to blow out the candles, and takes off laughing, but Bruce Wayne recognizes the laugh, sees the candle, is smart enough to realize what it is, so he goes barreling through the crowd towards the cake, and clumsily bumps into it, knocking into the pool. Mayor Hill is not pleased.

But Jordan is no where to be found. We find him hiding in the clown's truck, and he follows Joker into his hideout (an abandoned carnival), not realizing yet who he his. He pesters Joker to teach him to be a magician, Joker tries to find a way to exploit the accidental kidnapping, and Batman tries to figure out a way to rescue the child. Hilarity ensues.

Anyway, the Joker plays the kid for a sap, tries to kill Batman, endangers the kid, Jordan helps Batman escape from Joker's death trap, Batman saves the day, Mayor Hill apologizes for being a jerk to Jordan. And everybody lives happily ever after. Except The Joker, of course. And Batman too, really. And pretty much anyone that lives in Gotham.

This is why roller coasters have seatbelts...

Eh, I wasn't really fond of this episode when I first watched it. There's just something off about the Joker episodes early on in the series, but it's not bad by any means, and I like it more than the previous Joker episodes. Mark Hamill is, of course, great as the Joker. His mannerism is great, he's wacky, and an emotional pendulum, swinging back and forth from being happy and funny, to being seriously pissed off at the kid for showing up unexpectedly. And of course, I love his voice, and the many, crazy laughs he can do.

Remember kids: Where's Batman? He's at home, washing his tights! - Joker

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1 comment:

Marissa said...

This one was okay. I agree, maybe not the best of Joker, but I don't really like the Joker, so I thought it was fine. :)