Happy Birthday to one of the greatest actors of our time and Jersey boy Jack Nicholson! Nicholson grew up in Neptune City, New Jersey and attended Manasquan High School. Jack was voted class clown by the class of 1954 which seems even more comical when you think about how 35 years later he would become one of pop culture’s most famous clowns, The Clown Prince of Crime, THE JOKER! Sure Heath Ledger gave a one of a kind performance in The Dark Knight, but Jack revolutionized the role in 1989’s Batman. If you mix Jack’s performance in one of my favorite films of all time, The Shining, with his turn as The Joker, you will likely arrive at something very close to Heath Ledger’s approach to The Joker character. Thank you Jack for all the superb, over the top, and ridiculously entertaining performances throughout your career!
As if being known as a nondescript “henchman” was bad enough, Bob was known as ‘The Joker’s Goon,” or “Bob The Goon.” He was the highest level henchman The Joker had, hence “THEE GOON,” this guy wasn’t 2nd GOON or 6th GOON. That title was officially bestowed upon him when the Joker told Bob that he was his “Number One Guyyy.” Bob was a shabby man who looked as if he was freshly plucked from catching some zzz’s in a dumpster in a Crime Alley. Coming from those humble beginnings, having the Joker take him on as his henchman infused him with confidence. He felt like he could conquer the world, or at the very least, finally get his G.E.D. He was as loyal as they came, and he possessed a shimmer in his eye that showed us that a little part of him wished someday he could be half the criminal mastermind that The Joker is. He clung to that hope, even if it was all in vain.
When you’re down on your luck and you want some direction in your life, being the right hand to a super criminal like The Joker seems like an appealing and prestigious position. I’m almost positive The Joker didn’t offer any health benefits, and definitely no 401k. Perhaps dental? He did have one helluva smile. Love that Joker! In the case of Bob, The Joker granted him as much vacation time as he could ever possibly imagine when he blew him away point blank.
All other goons and henchman owe Bob a huge debt of gratitude for being such a superior role model. Bob was an icon, a go getter, and when he did hire a prostitute, he treated her with respect. It’s a shame that Bob was never able to take advantage of his fame. If he lived, he may have been able to ride the lucrative personal appearance circuit. Who wouldn’t want a B&W 8×10 of Bob signed “Bob, The Joker’s One and Only Muthaf–kin’ Goon!”
Bob The Goon was portrayed by Tracey Walter in the 1989 Batman film. It’s no secret that Jack Nicholson is a Jersey boy, but Walter also hails from the Garden State. He was born in Jersey City, NJ, and according to his IMDB bio, he “was working in a car parts store in Jersey City when he stumbled upon acting…” Walter’s impressive resume includes appearances in over 150 popular films and TV shows.
For more on Bob’s Toy Biz action figure, check out Cool Toy Review.