DC Database

Quote1.png I need to know that mama was wrong. I need to know that when I was a boy, making them laugh, that I didn't make him stronger. Quote2.png
Morton Wales src

Morton Wales was a mentally ill man in Gotham City.

When he was a boy, he used to enjoy making others laugh until his mother told him the folk story of when, many years ago, a clown came to Gotham and began making people laugh so hard they died. In the story, the townspeople found where the clown was hiding and burned him alive, and, since then, Gotham has had an unspoken rule about not welcoming clowns. The story made Morton paranoid about making anyone laugh again and so, when he was an adult, he accidentally killed a stand-up comedian he begged to stop telling jokes. For this, he was sent to Arkham Asylum.

On the night of the Joker's endgame, Joker freed Morton and four other Arkham inmates and told each of them a different origin story for himself, claiming only one of them was right. Joker told Morton that he was the clown from his mother's story, that the townspeople hadn't killed him like they thought. The Joker claimed to become stronger every time someone laughed, further worsening Morton's paranoia of laughing.[1]

Other Characteristics

  • Mental Disorder
  • Gelotophobia: Morton had an intense fear of laughter after having been told the bedtime story of an evil clown that made people laugh until they died when he was a child. The Joker exacerbated Morton's phobia by convincing him that he was that clown from the story, and every time someone laughed in Gotham he would become stronger.