"The Joker" is a song by the Steve Miller Band from their 1973 album The Joker. The song is one of two Steve Miller Band songs that feature the neologism "pompatus". The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974.
More than 16 years later, in September 1990, it reached number one in the UK Singles Chart after being used in a Levi's television advertisement, thus holding the record for the longest gap between transatlantic chart-toppers.
"The Joker" is covered by k.d. lang on her album Drag on which all the songs have the theme of smoking or cigarettes. It has also been covered by the rap duo Twiztid on the album Cryptic Collection 3. A version was also recorded by Jason Mraz for the movie, Happy Feet.
It is sampled in Shaggy's song "Angel", and artist Fatboy Slim reworked the song on his 2004 album Palookaville.
The song is sometimes misidentified by the title "Space Cowboy" because of the first line of the lyrics, which are actually referring to an earlier song by that title from Miller's Brave New World album. The following lines refer to two other earlier songs, "Gangster of Love" from Sailor, and "Enter Maurice" from Recall the Beginning...A Journey from Eden.