Somebody in charge of procuring music rights for use on “The Simpsons” must be a big fan of 1990’s dance music by bands that disappeared overnight. “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” has shown up on the animated series more than once. And in more than one way.
The most famous and funniest use of this song by the C+C Music Factory came in the episode titled “Homer’s Phobia” in which the family becomes friendly with a gay character voiced by legendarily sick film director John Waters. Waters’ gives one of the all time great guest voice appearances in this story that begins innocently enough before making a left turn to examine, as only “The Simpsons” can, the cause and effect of homophobia. In an attempt to man up his son Bart and counteract the effect of Bart’s exposure to their new gay friend, Homer takes him to a steel mill to watch real men. The steel mill quickly undergoes a transformation into a gay disco as “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now )” kicks into gear. Homer’s best laid plans to ensure his son’s heterosexuality quickly go awry.
The second full use of “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now )” occurs in the season 22 episode “Love is a Many Strangled Thing.” The song plays an even more central role in plot developments than it did the first time it was used. The family attends a football game at Springfield’s new upscale stadium and during game downtime the crowd is kept entertained when they are urged to dance to the strains of “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now ).” The good fun shared by all turns dark and moist when Homer gets carried away with tickling Bart until his spiky haired progeny wets his pants while his image is displayed on the stadium’s big replay screen. Although more important to the plot, this second playing of C+C Music Factory’s biggest hit is not quite as funny as the first.
The song shows up in a different form in the episode titled “Lard of the Dance.” Marge, attempting to cheer up Lisa who is the odd girl out at the elementary school’s dance, launches into her own version by singing “Every Simpson dance now…Bump…bump…bump.” Yes, indeed, somebody affiliated with “The Simpsons” appears to be quite the fan of anthemic dance music by forgotten bands.