John Boylan: We also pulled in Michael Jackson to help out. Actually, he called and volunteered. I knew Michael because he was an Epic artist. He was our top-selling artist while I was there. Being an A&R person at Epic, I knew him enough so that he recognized me. He brought in a co-producer name Bryan Loren. He and Loren were going to write a song based on a dance that Michael made up called “The Bartman.”
Bryan Loren: At the time, I was working with Michael Jackson at Record One Studios in Sherman Oaks, Calif., on the Dangerous album. James Brooks came to Mike about doing a song for an album project on The Simpsons. Michael brought it to me. "How'd you like to do a song for Bart Simpson?" he asked. Of course, I jumped at this! He said, "Do it however you want. Just find a spot where you can say, 'If you can do the Bart you're bad like Michael Jackson!’”
John Boylan: Michael sang some backups on it and oversaw it when Nancy came in to do the lead vocals. He was in the studio with Bryan, me, and Nancy. He wanted to maintain some secretiveness about it, so we weren’t supposed to talk about it, but in the end he let it out that he was involved.
Al Jean: We just did a performance of it a year ago at the Hollywood Bowl led by Nancy Cartwright, which was great.
Bryan Loren: There is even a coffee-table book of odd factoids that suggests that “Bryan Loren is a pseudonym for Michael Jackson!” Apparently, I don't even really exist. I am the creator of [“Do the Bartman”]. While I have never denied it was MJ's idea/concept to call the song “Do the Bartman,” and he does perform background vocals with me in the chorus—not the bridge—I am the sole writer.
Al Jean: There’s also a Brad Bird-directed video, which you can see online. It’s terrific.
Bryan Loren: Matt Groening was in the studio and met me while we were doing it. He even offered to include my image in the animation for the video. I never gave him the picture he asked for. I kinda now regret having not done that.
Al Jean: What’s funny is Jeff Martin had written a song for the album called “Do the Bart,” which didn’t make it on the album because it got bumped by Michael Jackson. Jeff’s song actually gave instructions on how to do an actual dance. He was always going, “You can’t ‘Do the Bartman.’ It doesn’t make sense! ‘Front-to-back in a rock-like motion,’ what does that mean?”