29b. Deep, Deep Trouble (video)

17 years before Radiohead

17 years before Radiohead

  • Video first aired Thursday 7 March 1991
  • Directed by Gregg Vanzo

Right after the transmission of Bart’s Dog Gets an ‘F’, viewers of Fox Television were treated the premiere of the video for Deep, Deep Trouble. And treat is, for once, exactly the right word. The video is great fun: a snappy, colourful knockabout that makes an already brilliant song even better.

"TROUBLE!"

“TROUBLE!”

It was directed by Gregg Vanzo, one of the show’s storyboard and layout artists, who had also stepped in to help rescue There’s No Disgrace Like Homer. Vanzo keeps the scope of the video tight and focused. This is not a round-the-world travelogue like Do the Bartman. Everything takes place in or around Springfield, save for a brief detour to hell:

Pirates not pictured

Pirates not pictured

"Double! Double!"

“Double! Double!”

The economy of scale and homespun tone fits well with the song’s blend of breezy hip-hop and suburban patter. Music and animation are both a bit rough and ready, the scratching and rapping complemented by the jump cuts and slick edits in the animation.

"The low bluesy tone of a saxophone..."

“The low bluesy tone of a saxophone…”

Bart’s visual world finds a natural sound world here; both are places in which you’d be more than happy to spend a whole lot more time.

Summer, summer, summertime

Summer, summer, summertime

Deep, Deep Trouble went to number one in Ireland and stayed there for four weeks. It replaced Rod Stewart’s Rhythm of my Heart, which one week previously had replaced Do the Bartman, which itself had been at number one for nine weeks. All this in a country where The Simpsons had yet to be televised.

In the UK Deep, Deep Trouble made the top 10 in April 1991 but stalled at number seven. It fell out of the top 40 a few weeks later, and that was the end of The Simpsons’ brush with the British charts.

As for the US, just like Do the Bartman the song was a complete flop.

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