Part of the success of “Do The Bartman” could be because of its invisible guiding hand: Michael Jackson. An avowed fan of The Simpsons, Jackson and writing partner Bryan Loren teamed up to pen “Do The Bartman,” though Jackson’s role was relatively unknown until after his death, due to a deal he had with another record label. Loren received sole credit for the track’s funky swoops and stomps, though Jackson’s marks are clearly evident, especially knowing his involvement. (The track also features a couple of lines about or directed at Jackson, with Bart telling listeners, “If you can do the Bartman, you’re bad like Michael Jackson,” and extolling Jackson to “eat [his] heart out” at one point.)
Given The Simpsons’ obvious and prevalent visual presence, it makes sense that part of the success of “Do The Bartman” would come from its music video, which aired on Fox December 6, 1990 immediately after the “Bart The Daredevil” episode. Directed by Simpsons staffer Brad Bird (who, like all other staffers, refused to make the video until absolutely forced to), the clip both highlights the song and tells a mini-Simpsons story. Detailing a Bart-centric daydream about a school performance that both turns funky and takes over Springfield, the “Do The Bartman” clip is a celebration of the whole Simpsons world—not just the immediate Simpsons family.