Joker: Who is Murray Franklin? Robert De Niro’s character was not inspired by DC Comics!

Joker Murray Franklin Dressing Room

Joker has finally hit cinemas and is proving well worth the wait.

The Joaquin Phoenix-starring Joker laughingly wheezed itself onto our cinema screens on October 4th and has thrown the comic book genre on its head with one of the most chilling and in-depth character movies to hit cinemas in a long time.

As well as bringing about a fascinating origins story for the clown prince of crime, Joker also introduces its audience to Murray Franklin, a talk show host and a popular figure among the people of Gotham.

Despite what appears to be a fairly minor role to begin with, Franklin plays a huge part in bringing the Joker out into the open.

But just who is he and what was the inspiration behind the talk show host character?

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Who is Murray Franklin?

Murray Franklin is a talk show host in Joker and is played by the ever-brilliant Robert De Niro.

We all know a character like Murray, UK fans will know the likes of Graham Norton and Jonathan Ross while the US has Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert among others. 

Joker Murray Franklin

His role in Joker 

In Joker, Murray makes regular appearances throughout the film on Arthur's TV before the big finale when the pair finally meet. 

It transpires that Murray becomes the inspiration for the name Joker when he pokes fun at a video clip of Arthur's failed stand-up routine. 

When introducing the clip, he opens with the phrase 'take a look at this joker' and it's clearly something that sticks and gives our villain his infamous title.

Joker Dressing Room

Murray Franklin's origins

While the Joker originated in DC's comic books, Murray Franklin did not. 

He's a character that was introduced purely for this film.

What's fascinating though is that the character and indeed the premise of the film almost were inspired by the 1983 Martin Scorcese film The King of Comedy which stars Robert De Niro as Rupert Pupkin, a mentally unstable comedian with an unhealthy obsession with a well-known TV personality, Jerry Langford and will stop at nothing to go on their show.

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