1. The Joker (The Dark Knight, 2008)
The Clown: Batman’s scarred, make-up caked enemy, usually to be found in his crusty coat and purple suit. When he’s not cross-dressing for a disguise, that is.
Why He’s Funny: He has a real zest for life, cackling his way through the most difficult tasks. Like, say, robbing a bank. Or blowing up a hospital. “I'm a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite, and gunpowder... And gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They're cheap!” How can you not love this guy?
He's more gleeful than any clown we've ever met in real life, even when (especially when) he's being beaten up.
Why He’s Terrifying: Have you seen his magic trick? Plus at one point, the man turns up in a body bag, murderlises a gangster and then proceeds to have the dead bloke’s henchmen “audition” to join his gang by trying to shoot each other.
Which sounds a lot like the clown at our tenth birthday party and, trust us, that was no fun at all.
Heath Ledger locked himself away in a hotel room for six weeks to get his Joker the right side of menacing, practicing the voice and the laugh over and over again. We wouldn't have liked to have worked room service at that particular establishment.