The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 85: “Make ‘Em Laugh”

This week, we learn that Batman doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.  OK, we sort of already knew about that. But for the first time, we’re introduced to the failed comedian, “Smilin’ Shecky Rimshot,” a shifty performer who we learn is actually the Joker in disguise. His over-the-top scheme involves brainwashing multiple judges in order to ensure he walks away with the grand prize trophy in a stand-up comedy competition. But as Batman points out, it’s not the “piece of tin” that matters to the Joker — it’s the title. The recognition. The attention. So what’s really behind the Joker’s need to be recognized as the funniest man in Gotham City? Narcissism? Psychoticism? Or something more? Listen to our analysis below!

We also talk about a brand-new graphic novel by Paul Dini called Dark Night: A True Batman Story (Vertigo). Dealing with personal trauma, psychological pain, and resilience, the beautifully illustrated book reveals Dini’s real-life encounter with assailants who nearly ended his life. What follows is an amazing tale of faith in the Caped Crusader and the concept of superheroes. Dini, along with Batman, help us make sense of atrocities, injustice, and the real-life horrors in our world. It’s truly inspiring. You can get your copy at your local comic book shop or right here.

Finally, because the late comedian Richard Jeni co-starred in this episode, we offer some information about suicide and the individuals like performers and comedians who are tasked with smiling on the outside when they’re not necessarily smiling on the inside. If you’re located in the United States and need to talk to someone, you can call 1- (800) 273-8255. This is a 24/7 hotline, so there is always someone available to listen and offer support. You can also visit to learn more about international hotlines and other ways for getting help.

The Arkham Sessions is a podcast dedicated to the psychology of the show, Batman: The Animated Series.  Have psychology related questions about Batman? Write to us via twitter @ArkhamSessions or on Facebook. 

And don’t forget to subscribe to The Arkham Sessions on iTunes to get all the latest episodes!

One Response to “The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 85: “Make ‘Em Laugh””

  1. Julia Arsenault says:

    You left off the restaurant Buddy held up sued him for millions

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