“Be a Clown” is about the Joker, Mayor and the Mayor’s son. The Joker arrives undercover as another clown and convinces the Mayor’s son Jordan to run away (the Mayor cares more about good publicity than his son’s passions). From here it is Batman attempting save Jordan and bring the Joker down.
Here is my assessment of the episode:
The Pros: The Joker – Even in his weaker episodes he elevates the story. This time we get to see him in the Devil role as he attempts to corrupt Jordan and turn him against his father and Batman. We later see him do this again with another child in “Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker,” in a much darker way. This episode he also manages to capture Batman…which is an accomplishment for any of the villains.
Bruce Wayne – Is great as the pretend klutz saving the day…since he manages to save the party by knocking the cake with the dynamite into the pool.
Batman – Has his moment when he uses the Joker’s funhouse against him in order to save Jordan.
Jordan – Is a kid who is actually written well. You get the anger at his dad and the moment when he realizes that he ran off to be with a psychopath. He has some great moments and his voice isn’t annoying like a lot of child actors.
Okay: The mayor – For someone who gets a lot of screen time…he’s still basically a corrupt suit who cares about his kid…which is a shame since he even has a kid in this episode to give him more dimension. We see a character done right next episode with the Harvey Dent two-parter “Two-Face.” “P.O.V.” also did a better job with character exploration.
The music – Isn’t super memorable again, standard fair…nothing special.
The episode is great at showing the danger of the Joker and how deftly he uses people (as we’ll see later with other people in later episodes). It also great seeing a child character written well since most shows and movies suffer from writing children poorly. The episode has a great resolution with helping move things forward between the Mayor and Jordan. They have a sweet moment and it adds to a fun episode.
This episode gets an 8.5 / 10.