Stephen A. Smith once TRASHED Skip Bayless for his absurd take on Heath Ledger’s legacy in ‘The Dark Knight’ amid buzz around Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer

Skip Bayless called The Dark Knight overrated and said Jack Nicholson portrayed Joker in a better way.

Stephen A. Smith once TRASHED Skip Bayless for his absurd take on Heath Ledger’s legacy in ‘The Dark Knight’ amid buzz around Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer

Heath Ledger as Joker (L - Via Stephen Vaughn) and Stephen A. Smith with Skip Bayless (R- Getty Images)

Before Skip Bayless joined Fox Network to host Undisputed, the NFL analyst was dominating TV ratings with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN with their show First Take. The duo had such chemistry they would debate about anything and make it interesting. In that trend, Smith once blasted Bayless for his take on Christopher Nolan’s movie The Dark Knight, back when the entire world was left mesmerized by Heath Ledger’s Joker portrayal.

In an episode of First Take on ESPN2, Bayless and Smith were debating whether The Dark Knight movie was overrated or underrated. Skip claimed that the movie was overrated for several reasons. His points were that the movie gave too much importance to Joker instead of Batman, Heath Ledger failed to recreate Jack Nicholson’s magic as the Clown Prince of Gotham City and finally Maggie Gyllenhaal wasn’t fine enough for him to care about the romantic plot.


While Stephen A. agreed with the last point and suggested that the filmmakers should’ve cast the likes of Halle Berry or Beyonce instead of Maggie, the NFL analyst however disagreed with his co-host’s other two points. “This movie was an A movie. Granted, Batman wasn’t even the star, it was really the Joker,” said Smith. “But the bottom line is this, you look at it, it was one of those rare movies. It made you think, It touched on your soul.”

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Stephen A. Smith defended Heath Ledger from Skip Bayless criticisms

Skip Bayless Stephen A. Smith Christopher Nolan Heath Ledger Dark Knight Oppenheimer
Skip Bayless (Image via Fox Network)

As the debate raged on, Smith went on to defend Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. He even claimed that Ledger has eclipsed Nicholson and no one will ever remember Nicholson as the Joker after Heath’s legendary performance.


“He was the star of the movie and I never ever thought that I would see anybody that would outperform Jack Nicholson but Heath Ledger. He’s the real Joker now. We will never think about Jack as the Joker again. It was phenomenal,” said Smith.

The renowned sports analyst also threw shade at his co-host, saying that Skip looked like Joker without makeup, which led to the show producer showing Bayless and Heath’s Joker side by side on the screen in a hilarious moment. “He look just like Skip,” Smith laughed.

The dynamic duo ended the debate with a handshake and Bayless saying “I’m Batman” in his best Christian Bale impression. The old video of this debate is now going viral on social media amidst the buzz for Christopher Nolan’s new movie Oppenheimer, which is set to hit the big screens worldwide on July 21.


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