O jokerone of comics’ most iconic and enigmatic villains, is known not only for his insanity and chaotic behavior, but also for his uncontrollable and disturbing laughter.
Those who have watched movies with the villain know that the character often breaks out in fits of laughter at inappropriate times. But, after all, what is the disease behind that sinister laugh that accompanies it?
While the character has been portrayed in a variety of ways over the years, both in comics and film adaptations, a specific medical condition is often associated with this characteristic Joker trait.
The moments when the Joker simply laughs uncontrollably arouse the public’s curiosity, but behind his behavior is a disorder called pseudobulbar affect.
Know the disorder that affects the Joker
Pseudobulbar affect disorder (or Pseudobulbar Affect) is a neurological condition that affects emotional control and causes involuntary and inappropriate laughter or crying. In the Joker’s case, his uncontrolled laughter can be interpreted as a symptom of this disorder.
People with this disorder may laugh or cry intensely, regardless of what they are feeling emotionally.
It is usually caused by damage or dysfunction in the brain due to conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or traumatic brain injuries.
Actor Joaquin Phoenix, interpreter of the character in the DC films, commented on the subject and revealed that he wonders about the disorder being the diagnosis for the Clown’s uncontrolled risk:
“I question whether this is really what he has”he said about pseudobulbar affect. “It’s one of those examples of something I didn’t want to answer.”commented to Movieline.
In addition, the actor believes that the villain’s exaggerated laugh is more associated with how society treated Arthur Fleck, the failed clown behind the Joker.