There have been few if any comic-book movie performances as startling and singular as Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight. At once loose and strong, purringly deadly and weirdly vulnerable… it was a shambling shaggy dog performance for the record books.

There's no way to know now where Ledger drew his inspiration for the character, but after watching this video of Tom Waits in 1979 (as pointed out by Newsarama), it's shocking how much of a similarity there was. Skip the video to 1:30 and listen to that voice. Woah.

Was Ledger's Joker the best movie villain of all time? Who might be better? Have we run out of Batman villains to put in movies? Is Batman ready for a break? Should Tom Waits play the villain in a film? I'd see that.

A long and exciting week draws to a close. Feel free to talk super heros or anything else, here or over in the Talk Amongst Yourselves forum. Have a lovely weekend.

1979 Tom Waits = Heath Ledger's The Joker. See For Yourself [Newsarama]