I Don't Get the Joker's "Killing Joke"

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#1 Edited by TheDandyMan (5175 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman: The Killing Joke is often praised for its dialogue and rightfully so. However, there's one quote that I never quite understood: the Joker's last gag.

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I know they say a joke isn't funny if you have to explain it but I would like to understand where the humours bit comes from. Or is this more of a metaphor of Batman and the Joker's relationship than an actual joke?

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#2 Posted by redleader1 (845 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a metaphor for joker and bats. Bats had just earlier said that he can help joker and wants to reform him. Joker is saying that bats will just give up on him halfway through.

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#3 Posted by jayc1324 (26431 posts) - - Show Bio

I believe it is called the killing joke because right after this joke, batman cracked up laughing and killed joker. Some don't think he did kill joker but I believe that was Moore's original intention

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#4 Posted by TheDandyMan (5175 posts) - - Show Bio

@redleader1: So it's not really a joke, more of an analogy?

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#5 Edited by RagingR2 (1 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe I am explaining the obvious, but you made it sound like you didn't understand the joke to begin with.

And also, I showed this to my wife today and she didn't understand the joke.

So at the risk of sounding like a total fool, and explaining the joke:

The joke is about a fool where for a moment you think he's not such a big fool after all, only to discover he is totally insane.

Like: Okay, he doesn't want to walk over a flashlight beam, sounds reasonable because that's impossible. Oh wait a minute, he totally thinks that's theoretically possible.

Metaphorically, I think it could mean two things or more likely a combination of them.

1. Like others have said, that maybe deep in his heart Joker would want Batman to help him, but he doesn't trust that Batman will follow through.

2. That Joker, like the second guy in the joke who thinks you can walk on a beam of light, is totally insane, and therefore probably couldn't be helped even if he wanted to.

Personally, I think it's a combination of the two. I think Joker is really saying: Thanks for offering, but we both know that I'm too crazy to be helped, and by extension, maybe you are a little crazy for even thinking that I could be helped. Like the first guy in the Joke, Batman proposing to help cure Joker, is like offering someone a light beam to walk across to get over a gap between two high buildings. The first guy in the joke who offers it, obviously (also) thinks that would work. Likewise, Batman probably really thinks he could help cure Joker. So it's not a matter of trustworthiness: the first guy in the joke probably wouldn't betray his comrade, and neither would Batman betray Joker if Joker decided to take him up on his offer. It's just that it probably won't work.

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#6 Edited by AssassinB (151 posts) - - Show Bio


There goes the saying a blind man can't help see another blind man. Batman can't help cure the Joker when he is himself crazy. That's what the Joker was telling him.

Matthew 15:14

"Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

Do Not Judge

(Matthew 7:1-6; Romans 14:1-12)

37Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

39Jesus also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

41Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye? 42How can you say, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while you yourself fail to see the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Maybe Moore took inspiration from this passage?

The punchline joke at the end is: What do you think I am crazy? (yes, they both are; In the novel, the last word is bolded) You will turn it off when I was half away across...

The one not jumping knows his friend is crazy, they both escaped from an Asylum remember?

hahahahahaha ;P

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