Be A Clown (Batman: The Animated Series)

Be A Clown
AirdateSeptember 16, 1992
Production Number9
Airdate Number11
Running Time22 minutes
Directed byFrank Paur
Written byTed Pedersen
Steve Hayes
Previous EpisodeThe Forgotten
Next EpisodeTwo-Face: Part 1

Be A Clown is the ninth episode of Batman: The Animated Series. It first aired on September 16, 1992.

[edit] Plot

Mayor Hill is speaking to the press at the building site for Gotham Towers, a new living space for Gotham City. Hill believes that under his guidance, Gotham will be a much safer place. Just then, a car comes speeding through the area with a cop car following quickly behind. Losing control of the vehicle, the driver crashes into a construction tower, sending it toppling to the ground just as Hill escapes from danger. The men get out of the car and begin firing machine guns at the cops, but as they try to escape, Batman swoops down on a rope and kicks them into a garbage dumpster. Mayor Hill is then asked about the event, and he blames the "bad seeds" within Gotham City, such as Batman and The Joker. Joker is angered over being compared to Batman as he watches the broadcast on his television. He then promises to show Hill just how unsafe his own mansion truly is.

The Joker disguised as Jekko the Clown.

The following day, Hamilton Hill is throwing a birthday party of his son, Jordan. The young boy is up in his room practicing magic tricks, which he is facinated by. Hill tells him to get ready and come down to the party. Jordan does not want to, as he won't know anyone there since his father invited only his friends and their children whom Jordan doesn't know. Downstairs at the party, Jordan is bored until his father tells him that he has a surprise. Suddenly a clown by the name of Jekko appears and he begins dazzling the kids with a number of tricks. He then goes up and shakes the hand of Hamilton Hill while wearing an electric buzzer, causing everyone except Hill himself to laugh.

Outside, Jekko continues to amaze Jordan with his tricks. Jordan tells him that he wishes he could perform such great tricks. After Bruce Wayne arrives at the party, Mayor Hill comes and tells Jordan to meet their newest guest. However, the boy accuses his dad of being selfish and not caring about what he wants, so Jordan storms into the house. Jekko continues his tricks, making a candle appear out with the Joker's face on it. He places the candle on top of the birthday cake and then walks past Bruce as he leaves the party, laughing along the way. Recognizing the laugh, Bruce rushes outside and finds the candle. He pushes past the guests and knocks the cake into the water, causing an explosion of water and cake to erupt from the pool. Outside of the house, Joker laughs at his latest deception as Jordan sits hidden in the back of his van.

They soon arrive at an amusement park that Joker has made his home for the time being. Once inside and removing some of his Jekko costume, Joker spots Jordan hiding behind him. He is first upset at finding the young boy, but says he'll take him on as an assistant. He then shows Jordan a few tricks before his security alarm goes off. Joker runs over and finds Batman on one of his cameras. He tells Jordan to help play a prank on Batman. Luring him into their funhouse, Joker throws a poker card at Batman, which releases a gas into the air, knocking him out. The Joker then feeds a coin into a fortune telling machine and once getting his future, Joker laughs and prepares Batman for his next trick.

The Joker and Jordan aboard the rollercoaster.

Batman is trapped in a straitjacket as he hangs inside of a tank filled with water. He is able to get out of the jacket but cannot ecape the tank as it is locked. Realizing it is not a trick at all, Jordan grabs an axe and hit the tank very hard, causing it to crack slightly. He then runs out of the funhouse as Joker gives chase. Nearly out of breath, Batman pushes his feet against the crack as it finally gives way and he escapes the tank. Batman puts on his utility belt and follows after them. Jordan hides in a roller coaster car but he is eventually found by Joker who starts the ride up with Batman on their trail. Batman hops into the adjacent car as the Joker begins throwing exploding babydolls at him. Just as his car explodes and flies off the track, Batman jumps into Jordan and Joker's car. Exchanging blows with the Joker, Batman is able to kick him off of the ride and into the water below. Realizing the track is broken up ahead, Batman grabs Jordan and uses his grappling hook to get them to safety just as the car crashes.

Back at the Hill estate, the Mayor is beyond excited when his son returns. They both apologize for their actions and then embrace in a long and loving hug. Jordan exchanges a thumbs up with Batman who watches fom the distance.

[edit] Cast/Characters

Character Voice Actor
Bruce Wayne / Batman Kevin Conroy
The Joker Mark Hamill
Commissioner Gordon Bob Hastings
Mayor Hill Lloyd Bochner
Jordan Hill Justin Shenkarow

[edit] Background Information and Notes

  • While the mayor's butler is tying the purple birthday banner to the pole, his hand repeatedly changed to the color of the banner.
  • This episode is first on the list of premises in the series bible. Originally, the Joker kidnaps Jordan outright and forces Batman through a series of traps to rescue him.
  • The cards that Joker first launches at Batman disappear from the wall after he launches his final volley.
  • The Toon Disney airing of the episode has The Joker's sword-swallowing removed.
  • Mayor Hamilton Hill later receives that highest of accolades - a high school was named for him. Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond attends Hamilton Hill High School.

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