NPR Story
4:36 pm
Sun December 11, 2011

Remembering Jerry Robinson, Creator Of The Joker

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 9:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I do believe it's that arch-criminal the Joker.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

Flags are flying at half-staff in Gotham City right now. Jerry Robinson, widely considered to be the creator of Batman's iconic enemy the Joker died this past week.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN BEYOND")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as the Joker) That's not funny.

RAZ: He was born Sherrill Robinson in Trenton, New Jersey in 1922. And while he never had much formal art training, he was constantly at work with pen and brush. Robinson told the Washington Post last year that Batman creator, Bob Kane, spotted him on a summer day in 1939. The teenaged cartoonist was wearing a sports jacket covered with his own drawings. That led to a job in Kane's studio where a deck of playing cards inspired Robinson to create the Joker in 1940.

Robinson was also partly responsible for Batman's sidekick, Robin, whose look came from an old illustration of Robin Hood.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: (as Robin) Holy bargain basements, Batman.

RAZ: Jerry Robinson was 89 years old.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BATMAN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: (as the Joker) If you've got to go, go with a smile.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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