1991, The Simpsons were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Do The Bartman.’
“Do the Bartman” is a song from The Simpsons’ 1990 album The Simpsons Sing the Blues. The song leads off the album as the first track and the first single released from it. Shonen Knife released a Japanese language cover of the song as a b-side on their 1992 CD single “Do the Knife”.
“Do the Bartman” was recorded in 1990. It was the number one music video on America’s MTV network between January and March 1991. It was not released as a single in the United States or Canada, although it did receive extensive airplay on radio stations in both countries.
The single performed well in Ireland, where it spent 9 weeks at Number 1 on the Irish Singles Chart. Only 6 singles have ever managed a longer run at Number 1 in Ireland. “Do The Bartman” was also the 11th highest selling single in Australia in 1991 after hitting #1 in March 1991. It was shown in international theatres with the Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands.
Although originally credited to writer/producer Bryan Loren,
It was placed at Number 9 in a countdown for the top Novelty songs in 2008 by Australian music TV channel MAX
The music video featured the typical plot of Bart rebelling against authority when he decides to put his own spin on a rigidly choreographed dance presentation at Springfield Elementary School. It was directed by Brad Bird with dance choreography by Michael Chambers. It was animated (in association with Klasky-Csupo) by Varga Studio, a firm from Budapest, Hungary. The video was included on Disc 4 of The Simpsons: The Complete Second Season.
It was nominated for “Best Special Effects” at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards.
An MTV retrospective on the worst and best music videos of all time placed “Do the Bartman” high on the list of worst videos.
While not initially introduced on The Simpsons itself, “Do The Bartman” has been referenced a handful of times since:
* On The Simpsons Season 2 DVD box set, the director’s cut is shown, with shots of the “cool boys” dancing replacing the shots of dance scenes from the Statue of Liberty Harbor, Paris, and the remains of the Berlin Wall.
* Bart performs the song and dance in the 1998 episode “Simpson Tide” to prove that he is still cool to his classmates. However, the only response comes from Ralph, who makes an unimpressed quip of “That is so 1991”.
* A parody of Hamlet, called “Do The Bard, Man,” is the third segment of the multi-story episode “Tales from the Public Domain”.
* In “Special Edna,” Lisa asks “What happened to the Bart who put mothballs in the beef stew?” This is a line from the song.
* In “The Wandering Juvie,” Bart asks Gina Vendetti, “Are you looking to do the Bartman?” when she shows affection for him.
* In “The Heartbroke Kid,” when Bart has a heart attack and is lying on the floor, Homer passionately implores him “Come on Bart, Do The Bartman! Do the Bartman!! Oh, why don’t you dance?!! DANCE!!!”
* In “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star”, Bart, bored with the Catholic school, introduces himself by saying, “Hi, I’m Bart Simpson. ‘Ay carumba’, ‘Do the Bartman’, et cetera, et cetera…” and uses the “rock on” hand sign.
* In The Simpsons Hit & Run Bart said “Everybody do the Bartman!”.
* In Simpsons Comics #59, in the story “Faking the Band”, Homer tries to create his own profitable boy band. As Bart auditions, he does the Bartman. Lisa remarks that she is tired of hearing the song.
* In “Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Three Times”, the third segment, which involves a superhero Bart (a parody of Batman) trying to get revenge for the murder of his parents, is called “Bartman Begins”.
* Mentioned in the song “Boombox” by The Lonely Island