What began as a desperate round of movie trivia among three fraternity brothers is now arguably as widespread on the Internet as anti-government newsgroups.
Craig Fass, 22, Brian Turtle, 22, and Mike Ginelli, 23, devised the game while attending Pennsylvania’s Albright College in January 1994.
“The snow was so bad, the only things open were the beer distributor and the hospital,” says Fass, who graduated in May with a degree in history and is now a cook. “We would just go out and buy a keg of beer and watch television.”
Ginelli, who is now in law school, said they had seen Bacon’s 1984 movie Footloose on TV on afternoon and later saw a commercial for Bacon’s then most-recent release, The Air Up There.
Impressed with the actor’s productivity, the trio of movie-buffs speculated that Bacon had been in a movie with just about everyone in Hollywood.
Or that everyone in Hollywood had been in a movie with Kevin Bacon.
"That’s when we found our divine inspiration, that Kevin Bacon was the center of the acting Universe.
On a whim, Fass called MTV’s ill-fated late-night program, “The Jon Stewart Show,” and made the pitch that the guys and the game would make good television.
Jon Stewart agreed. The Kevin Bacon game made its national debut two weeks later when the guys played a round on the air.
(Incidentally, Stewart’s Bacon number is 2: he was in Mixed Nuts with Steve Martin, who was in Planes, Trains & Automobiles with Kevin Bacon.)