Did Tom Waits Inspire Heath Ledger’s Joker?

Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight is legendary. So is Tom Waits.

If these thoughts seem disconnected, you clearly need to watch this video.

The 1979 Australian TV interview with then 29-year-old Waits has been making the viral rounds on the Internet this weekend, and for good reason — Waits’ voice is virtually indistinguishable from Ledger’s memorably creepy Joker. The only difference? Waits is speaking this way in real life.

Also worth noting is interviewer Don Lane’s impressive — and presumably unintentional — rendition of Phil Hartman’s Frank Sinatra impression.

The two share a genuinely awkward (read: hilarious) conversation — witness Waits struggling to sit up and Lane attempting to avoid second-hand smoke to no avail.

Ledger’s extreme commitment to his role as The Joker has been a topic of interest for years, particularly after the actor’s untimely death.

But it seems that a little credit may be due to Waits’s unique voice — and perhaps even his casually bizarre demeanor.

Found on Mashable

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