"Joker's Wild" is the forty-second episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It originally aired on November 19, 1992.
An argument over the TV erupts in the rec room of Arkham Asylum between Poison Ivy and the Joker - Ivy wants to watch her favorite gardening program while Joker wants to watch some Looney Tunes cartoons (ironically, Bugs' scene is in a forest). The nearest guard, Irving, breaks it up and changes the channel at random, hitting on a news report about the opening of billionaire Cameron Kaiser’s latest luxury casino outside Gotham City. The theme of the casino has been a carefully kept secret.
Kaiser snips the ribbon, and everyone is shocked to see the new casino dubbed "Joker's Wild," complete with a laughing effigy of Joker's head on top. Kaiser laughs off the idea that he is honoring Joker, instead saying that he is paying tribute to the symbol's classic roots — "we can't help it if there's a passing resemblance to some criminal fruitcake..." at which an outraged Joker hurls Ivy's potted plant through the TV, saying "How dare that smug prining fool try to cash in on my image!".
Joker fakes an illness in order to be taken to the infirmary, and quickly gives his guard the slip (although Irving is actually letting him go on purpose, having also watched the news report in shock). He quickly escapes the asylum and grabs a passing truck.
Bruce Wayne, a guest at the opening gala, quickly gives his date the push, and summons Alfred with a Batsuit. Bruce is suspicious of Kaiser's motives — despite his claim, the casino's resemblance to the Joker is all too obvious. Bruce looks beneath the decor of his room, and finds the Joker wallpaper hastily laid over a medieval theme. Infiltrating Kaiser's office as Batman, he sees a model of the proposed casino, where the Joker's head has been slipped over a building labeled "Camelot." Then he examines Kaiser's private files and sees massive construction bills for the casino, and a dossier on Joker. He is interrupted by Irving (actually one of Kaiser's security guards), who attacks him. Batman easily gives him the slip.
Joker enters the casino, where he is mistaken for a dealer (as they are all dressed as him). On a whim, he decides to spend a little time dealing at the blackjack tables. After he wins several rounds in a row, his players leave in disgust, but then Bruce happens by. To test whether it is really Joker, Bruce drops some casual comments about not liking the decor — "I'd be ready for the laughing academy if I had to stare at that ugly clown all day". To top things off, Bruce wins the round with a little sleight of hand. Joker can barely restrain his rage, giving himself away.
Bruce slips out of the casino and is back almost instantly as Batman. But he grabs the wrong dealer at first, giving himself away and allowing Joker to run. He disappears into the crowd and grabs a Joker-themed roadster parked in the casino, driving it into a crash and disappearing.
Kaiser watches on the video cameras as Joker rigs the basement of the casino with explosives. He prepares to leave, but Batman appears and confronts him. He's figured out that Kaiser bankrupted himself building his "Camelot" casino, so he altered it to invite the Joker's wrath, and allowing him to collect the insurance when it is destroyed. Kaiser admits it — then disables Batman with an electric device hidden in his desk. He calls Irving and another thug, and tells them to send Batman down to the basement. As soon as he arrives, Joker knocks him out.
Batman comes around, only to find himself strapped to a giant roulette wheel, which Joker has rigged to detonate the explosives. When Batman explains that Kaiser is playing him for a fool, manipulating him to destroy the casino to collect money in an insurance scam, Joker is outraged. With a change of plans, Joker disconnects the explosives and resolves to catch up with Kaiser before he flees the casino. Before leaving, however, he spins the wheel, and tosses a grenade onto it. Batman manages to escape the trap by shooting the grenade away with his grapple gun. Kaiser rushes to the helipad and boards his personal helicopter, which lifts off, then stops. Joker reveals himself to be piloting the chopper. He frankly congratulates Kaiser for the deviousness of his plot, then announces that he plans to kill Kaiser and run the casino from behind the scenes.
They are interrupted by Batman, flying after the chopper in his Bat-Glider. Joker fires his pistol, which damages the glider, but Batman manages to grab the chopper. As he wrestles with Joker, the chopper dives toward the casino, and crashes through the front doors. Joker tries to run, but Batman floors him with a well-aimed kick, sending him crashing into a slot machine, which jackpots and covers him with quarters.
Joker is returned to Arkham, where he watches Summer Gleeson's news report on his own arrest and Kaiser's downfall. He disgustedly changes the channel, but it's now three against one — Ivy, Mad Hatter, and Scarecrow, in which they protest "Hey we were watching that". He changes the channel back, and mutters to himself, "Ah, you bunch of no good, whacked-out losers. Ya make me sick".
- Kevin Conroy as Batman / Bruce Wayne
- Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as Alfred Pennyworth
- Mari Devon as Summer Gleeson
- Mark Hamill as The Joker
- Harry Hamlin as Kaiser
- Ernie Hudson as Security Guard
- Brion James as Irving
- Roddy McDowall as Mad Hatter
- Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy
- Roger Rose as TV Host
- Story by Paul Dini
- Directed by Boyd Kirkland
- Music Composed by Todd Hayen
- Animation Services by Akom Production Co.
|Previous episode:||Next episode:|
|If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?||His Silicon Soul|