When one Joker takes the time to publicly praise the work of another, it's no laughing matter. Even though the creators of Gotham insist that Cameron Monaghan's character of Jerome is not the real Joker, the actor has recently received some digital plaudits from the man behind the animated Joker— Mark Hamill.
Though Hamill has never appeared live as Batman's most famous nemesis, many fans regard his vocal performance (first in Batman: The Animated Series, then Justice League, the Arkham video game series, The Killing Joke adaptation, many more), to be the gold standard in all things Joker. While Heath Ledger's iconic and Oscar-winning performance of crazy perfection in The Dark Knight is almost untouchable, fans usually regard Hamill's work on the same level, if not sometimes a slight notch above. Is that madness? Maybe, but all you need is a little push.
Cameron Monaghan and the entire gang at Gotham continue to reiterate that Jerome is not the Joker— he is routinely referred to by them as a "Proto-Joker." It's no surprise that fans are so insistent that he's the real thing, though— Jerome has begun to look more and more like the Joker, he's maniacal, he's smart, and he's hugely unsettling, After Monaghan tweeted a short clip from the show's upcoming return, Hamill showed his support and solidarity by tweeting, "Can't wait! Cameron Monaghan is KILLING IT as the Joker & that's NO JOKE."
Jerome may indeed just be a "proto-joker," but there's no "proto" about it as far as Hamill is concerned. Hamill doesn't have anything to do with Gotham (he has appeared in the flesh on The Flash over in the Arrowverse though), so it's doubtful that he has spilled a secret here. If Jerome turns out to be the actual Joker of legend, then Gotham has been covering it up for a long time. If someone is stepping into the role after Jerome's proto becomes past-tense, well, that actor is going to have his work cut out for him. Cameron Monaghan is going to be a tough act to follow, and Mark Hamill agrees.
Do you share Hamill's enthusiasm about Jerome? Do you buy the refrain of the "proto-Joker?" Was Solomon Grundy really born on a Monday? Let us know in the comments!