Joker Might Include a Secret Nod to Heath Ledger

Throughout Todd Phillips’ new film Joker, bizarre scenes are causing audiences to wonder whether to laugh or cringe—or both. Among these uncomfortable moments was an unexpected move from Joaquin Phoenix as the title character: he plants a wet kiss on a woman he has just met.

The moment occurs when Arthur Fleck walks on stage at the Murray Franklin Show, greeting the host (played by Robert De Niro) and the fellow guests on the segment. When he says hello to an elderly woman also on the show, he kisses her on the lips, and holds it there for far too long. The other characters are clearly surprised but try to laugh it off, unaware of the violent events that are about to unfold.

The kiss might have a deeper meaning, though. draws a comparison to a real-life interview with Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight, and suggests the scene in the movie must be a reference to it.

Audiences may remember one particularly strange video that went viral during press for The Dark Knight in 2008: an excited older woman interrupts an interview when she sees the actor, and starts screaming. Ledger is a good sport about it, laughing, but then decides to kiss her on the mouth. The woman faints on the floor, making for just about one of the weirdest fan encounters ever caught on camera.

A DC fan account posted the video, adding the caption: “Sorry for posting this #Joker spoiler.”

View this post on Instagram

Sorry for posting this #Joker spoiler.

A post shared by 💥UNITE💥 (@dc.marvel.unite) on

We’re going to need Phillips to confirm whether the unexpected kiss in his new film is a nod to Ledger, or just an odd coincidence. We’re hoping for the former.

Golden Girls Prayer Candles Are a Great Way to Say 'Thank You for Being a Friend'


Golden Girls fans have a new piece of kitschy memorabilia to add to their collections. These prayer candles, featuring all four of the leading ladies, make the perfect gift for devoted followers of the show.

The set comes with four candles depicting each of the Girls: Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia. Standing 8 inches tall, they come with enough wax to burn for 100 hours. The pack of four is available for a total price of $60 on Amazon.

Shopping for the Golden Girls fan in your life should be easy this holiday season. If pop culture prayer candles aren't their thing, you could buy them Golden Girls Monopoly, socks, or even Funko Pops inspired by the beloved sitcom. And if they'd appreciate something even more offbeat, this Halloween-themed "Golden Ghouls" shirt should do the trick.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

The First Full Trailer for The Crown Season 3 Is Here

Des Willie, Netflix
Des Willie, Netflix

Star Wars obsessives aren't the only people in for a trailer treat today: Nearly two years after the second season of The Crown debuted, the award-winning series about the early days of Queen Elizabeth II's reign is just weeks away from its return. And on Monday morning, Netflix released the first full trailer for The Crown's new season.

While we've known some of the basic details about the new season—like the time frame in which it takes place and that Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies would be taking over the roles of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip—this is the first in-depth glimpse we've gotten at what's in store for season 3.

The role duty plays in the lives of the British royal family appears to be an overarching theme, with the trailer showing the country in distress but each of the characters putting on a smiling face for the public. While Elizabeth and Philip's relationship will continue to take center stage in the pricey period drama, Princess Margaret (now played by Helena Bonham Carter) will struggle with her role of being the Queen's sister. And Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor) will have to choose between his love for Camilla Parker Bowles (played by Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell) and his duty as the heir apparent to the throne.

Netflix will debut The Crown season 3 on November 17, 2019.