Why Kevin Bacon?

A group as biz-savvy as yourselves should have heard of the “Kevin Bacon” game.

FTWDK, it’s basically six degrees of seperation i.e. you can connect any actor/actress in Hollywood to K.Bacon in six moves or less.

So let’s try Elvis Presley.

The Big Cheese was married to Priscilla, who starred alongside a greying (heh heh ) L.Nielsen in Naked Gun. Nielsen starred opposite maestro L.Bridges in Airplane!, who was Blown Away with Tommy Lee Jones.

Who was, of course, in the movie JFK starring the actor K.Bacon.

You get the picture.

My point is, why Kevin Bacon? I realize you may answer, “versatility”, however why not Meryl Streep or Tom Cruise or Tom Hanks?

Why this particular guy?

I think it’s mainly that he’s been in many ensemble pictures, starting with Animal House. That way, he’s connected to many more people.

That’s just a WAG though.

Seperation/ Kevin Bacon

I don’t think it’s anything more than a forced rhyme, although it wouldn’t have worked if Kevin hadn’t been in so many movies.

What he said. It rhymes, and he is, or was, one of those “that guy” actors who seems to have been in every kind of movie with everybody.

Advanced mathematics has proved that it ought to be “Six Degrees of Rod Steiger.” Since he’s alive and still going, I wonder if Christopher Lee (a close second) could catch him.

Elvis Presley was in Live a Little, Love a Little (1968) with John (I) Wheeler
John (I) Wheeler was in Apollo 13 (1995) with Kevin Bacon

Elvis has a Bacon number of 2.

Why Kevin Bacon? I dunno, but I’d wager that the answer includes drunken college students.

I knew it!



Here’s five of his movies which make him quite a good hub for the game:

1996 Sleepers (DeNiro, Minnie Driver, Dustin Hoffman, Brad Pitt)
1996 Murder in the First (Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, William Macy)
1995 Apollo 13 (Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris)
1994 The River Wild (Meryl Streep)
1990 Flatliners (Kiefer Sullivan, Julia Roberts, Billy Baldwin

But not “The Best”, as this page shows. The actual best center is Rod Steiger.

Hey Udo Kier is lucky 26!!!

In his book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell touches on Kevin Bacon’s level of “connectedness.” Kevin Bacon is young, but he has acted in several movies with different genres. Gladwell points out that John Wayne made more movies, but most of were Westerns, so Wayne ended up acting with most of the same people. Bacon has been in a wide range of movies making him a good actor to use as a “connector.” However, he isn’t the best. The most connected actor (as of the book’s printing) is Rod Steiger.

The other thing is that when the game was invented, it was somewhat more interesting to play – before Apollo 13, before Sleepers, before Wild Things, and before Mystic River, all of which all had ensemble casts and lots of actors that were themselves prolific character actors. So the game was harder than it is now.

By the way, in the 1992-93 timeframe my friend Alec was locally famous for being able to do this with any two actors.


The short answer to the origin of this game: marijuana.

Common sense would seem to indicate that the curve of easyness vs. time would asymptotically approach zero (maximum easiness) as the number of movies produced in history increases.

Challenge: get Kathy Lee Crosby in three.

Err, Cathy.

Wohoo!! I figured out that through a friend of mine (a semi-famous ex-rock-star) I am only FOUR degrees from Kevin Bacon!!

The Oracle Of Bacon is sweet :smiley:

Ha! Thanks to the greatness that is IMDb, I have discovered I am THREE degrees from Kevin Bacon.

A friend I went to school with (and used to act with in school plays) was in Sex and the City (a guest shot) with Sarah Jessica Parker, who was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon.

Of course, through said friend, I’m also 2 degrees from Tim Curry, who IMHO is much cooler than Kevin Bacon. :wink:

OK, Brian, I think I’ve done it.

Kevin was in several movies with Keifer Sutherland. Kiefer stars in “24”, with William Devane, who was in The Dark with Cathy Lee Crosby.

That work? What did I win? :wink:

My respect, though I outgeek you by far becuase my path involves sci-fi and fantasy movies:

Bacon - Bibi Besch in Tremors
Besch - Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Montalban - Crosby in Wonder Woman, the 1974 TV movie that (more or less) served as pilot for the Lynda Carter series.

Wow, I didn’t know Jon Stewart was the guy to introduce the game to the national airwaves! Cool! :slight_smile:

FTR, my Bacon Number is two.

Not to hijack, but the horrid Crosby version had nothing to do with the Lynda Carter version. In fact the producers of the Lynda Carter version sought to distance themselves as much as possible, which is why the actual Lynda Carter pilot was titled “The New, Original Wonder Woman.”