Joker Stairs

Joker Stairs

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Updated Nov 12, 2019 at 04:40PM EST by Philipp.

Added Oct 14, 2019 at 10:34AM EDT by Philipp.

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Joker Stairs refers to a staircase located at 1165 Shakespeare Avenue, Bronx, New York, which served as one of the filming locations for the 2019 film Joker and appears in Joker and Peter Parker Dancing memes. Following the discovery of the location of the stairs, its photographs appeared in memes, while on Google Maps the staircase was briefly renamed as "Joker Stairs" and categorized as a religious destination.


On April 3rd, 2019, the first trailer for the then-upcoming 2019 film Joker premiered. In one scene of the trailer, the titular character Joker is shown dancing on a staircase. The same staircase later appeared in a promotional photo of the film (shown below, left),[1] released on July 23rd, a poster released on August 27th (shown below, right),[2] and multiple scenes in the film, released on October 4th.


Starting in late August 2019, "Joker and Peter Parker Dancing" memes, based on the promotional image and the poster, gained popularity online, with notable edits appearing on Twitter, Reddit and other platforms.[3][4]

On October 7th, 2019, iFunny user b0rt tweeted a photograph of the stairs based on the Google Maps street view photograph of the location, originally made in November 2017. The post received over 3,400 smiles on the platform (shown below).[5][6]

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Before October 8th, 2019, an unknown user renamed set the Google Maps name of the location to "JOKER STAIRS," categorizing it as a religious destination, with the change being reverted in the following days. On October 8th, 2019, iFunny user Bodark posted a screenshot of the location in the Google Maps app (shown below, left),[7] with the post receiving over 5,200 smiles. In the following days, multiple Instagram accounts reposted the image, including notable posts by Instagram users grandmas.butt[8] and cloakerson.[9] Later on the same day, iFunny user DafrNuclear posted a video compilation of the location photographs, with the post receiving over 21,200 smiles (shown below, right).[10]

JOKER STAIRS (25) 5.0 Religious destination 3 hr 11 min Follow OVERVIEW REVIEWS PHOTOS DIRECTIONS SAVE SHARE PLACE DOWNLOAD 1165 Shakespeare Ave, The Bronx, NY 10452 Open 24 hours R3PG+8G New York Repub to go on a holy pilgrimage to the joker stairs о

Starting on October 8th, the photograph of the stairs posted by b0rt seen extensive use in memes on iFunny and in /r/GamersRiseUp subreddit.

On October 11th, 2019, Comicbook reported on the location being renamed and categorized as a religious destination.[11]

Interview With Location Scout

On November 11th, 2019, location scout Aaron Hurvitz who selected the Shakespear Ave. stairs as a filming location for the film answered several questions about the location for Know Your Meme. According to Hurvitz, production designer Mark Friedberg asked him to discover the set of stairs which appeared in the 2007 film American Gangster (frame shown below), but the steps had since been revamped.

Since that time those stairs no longer look anything like that. They've been completely overhauled.

How many locations did you check out before setting on the one we see in the film?

Including the ones originally requested and the ones chosen I looked at and photographed 19 different step streets around the New York city.

What stood out to you about this particular filming location? Was there something exceptionally interesting about it?

What stood out about this location in particular is that it hadn’t been renovated yet. It still had the aesthetic of the old New York. The grit, the steepness, and very urban feel where all the contributing factors. The urban vista you get from the top of the stairs also helped. In the end Todd liked that it was clear from looking at it that you’re in a densely populated urban environment with no trees around.

Were you aware of the Gamer Joker and We Live In a Society memes while you were working on the film?

Sadly, no I was not aware of these memes.

How do you feel about the location becoming a tourist destination?

I rather like the idea of it bringing people to a part of town they normally wouldn’t go. I'd like to hope that the increase in foot traffic will bring in more business to the neighborhood deli at the top of the stairs. Or to the local restaurants around the bottom. What I’m honestly surprised by is that I haven’t read about someone setting up a makeshift souvenir shop yet. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before someone starts selling Joker prints or clown masks there.

Did you enjoy the film? What do you think about the memes that came out of it?

I loved the film. I think Todd pulled off exactly what he set out to do. As for the memes that have come out I must admit I really haven’t seen any or paid much attention to them.

Various Examples

WHAT IF WE KISSED $2018 Go ON THE JOKER STAIRS? GAMER MECCA $2018 Go GAMER MECCA 2 men standing in a holy place in a society (2019, colorized)
REPUBLISH IF YOU'D DANCE 2018 Go ON THE JOKER STAIRS Teacher-"Alright class we going to New York" Girls-"Omg I can't wait to see Times Square" Boys:


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