Six Degrees of Semination

Sowing the seeds of the Kevin Bacon legend.  Connecting the prolific thespian to any other random actor in fewer than six movies is easy.  Going from Bacon to Bacon in exactly six steps without using Bacon?  That could be tough.

Is anyone else getting hungry?

While we are at it, Kevin Bacon hasn’t been in as many movies as you’d think.  He’s had like 87 acting roles and many of them were on tv and/or playing himself.  Try looking up Clint Howard’s list of credits.  He’s got Kevin more than doubled up.  Six degrees of Clint Howard?  Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?  Besides you might ask, how many of those roles were in movies not directed by his big brother?  I think it’s two.

Anyway, I thought I’d start watching a Kevin Bacon movie, choose one of the other actors in it and then watch another film that they were also in.  I would then repeat the process, making sure not to select the same actor twice until I have seen six movies.  The sixth movie must also have Kevin Bacon in it, and none of the movies in the middle should include him.  So as I said, we are going from Bacon to Bacon without Bacon.

Okay, now I can almost smell it cooking.

Following are the movies I selected, but I am not going to say which actors I used.  See if you can figure that out and post them in the comments below.  Two things I realized in the process:  It’s harder than it sounds, and the fun is in the watching.



National Lampoon’s Animal House – Why not start with Mr. Bacon’s very first movie gig.  This is a well known classic, but one that I have not seen since…hmm, college.  Like Flounder, I too was a legacy at my school.   Like Bluto, I too once posted a 0.0 GPA.  Turns out you need to go to class at least once to obtain a positive number.

This movie has some of the best lines out there.  My favorite, and one I often use as an icebreaker, is “are you guys playing cards?”  You’ve also got an ‘eat me’ cake float in a parade, the best food fight ever, Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, and Otis who clearly loves us.  I could’ve done without seeing Donald Sutherland’s ass though.

Somewhere in there is an actor from another of my favorite classic movies…


Fletch –  No, it’s not you Chevy.  Fletch, despite having almost nothing to do with the Gregory McDonald novel it originated from, is great fun.  Incidentally, those books were amazing and I’ve read them all.  The Flynn series was pretty sweet too.  Can I borrow your towel?  My car just hit a water buffalo.

Some features to look for here and other cool facts:

  • Larry of Darryl and Darryl fame makes an appearance.
  • Geena Davis appearing in her second film ever, is named Larry.
  • Chevy Chase was originally supposed to play Otter in Animal House…hey, that’s weird.
  • The banquet interrupted by Fletch was for Fred Dorfman…say, wasn’t that Flounder’s brother?  You’re not gonna sing for us, are you Sammy?
  • George Wendt on the beach as Fat Sam.
  • The chase scene where Fletch steals the car from the kid stealing the car, has some random car behind them that keeps up through the entire ordeal.
  • Joe Don Baker of Mitchell fame!  I hate Tommy Lasorda.

This was the movie I watched when I got drunk for the first time.  I was sick for three days.  It was 6 Coors Extra Gold and 2 wine coolers.  That’s an odd combination, but then, so were my parents.


Back To School –  Look out for number one, but don’t step in number two!  Any movie that combines Paulie from Rocky, Oingo Boingo, Sam Kinison and Robert Downey, Jr.’s movie debut is a winner in my book.  Good lord, I forgot about the best of all.  Not only does Kurt Vonnegut make a cameo, but Thornton Melon tells him to F-off.  Amazing stuff.

Remember; the answer to every complex accounting problem is always four, the Triple Lindy can be done, don’t give away your last pen and make sure to rage, rage, rage against the dying of light.

Oh by the way, the actor who plays the young Thornton Melon is Kevin’s brother from the Wonder Years and also appeared in Back to the Future.


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off –  Bueller?  Bueller?  Everything I know about economics, I learned from this movie.  Hawley-Smoot tariff dude!  I’m currently looking up at a print of my favorite painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper.  This wouldn’t be hanging on my wall right now if it hadn’t been shown in the film.  Furthermore, there is no way that Danke Shoen would be in my iTunes library without the iconic parade scene.

I like how those bullet points worked for Fletch, so here’s some more:

  • The day off in question is June 5th, 1985.  Here’s the box score for the game at Wrigley Field that day.
  • There were two younger children in the Bueller household…no, seriously.
  • Charlie Sheen stayed awake for like 48 hours before filming his scene to look like an actual druggie.  Thirty years later he perfected the look.
  • Paul McCartney hated the version of Twist and Shout in the movie with all those pesky horns.
  • The choreographer for Ferris’ parade routine had a better pupil in Jennifer Grey for Dirty Dancing.

This blog moves pretty fast, maybe you should stop and look around once and awhile.


Edtv –  A lot of people don’t like this movie.  It angers them for some reason.  Well, I like it  very much.  I even like the presence of Ellen DeGeneres in it.  The only thing I don’t like, is its role in bringing us reality television.  You gotta admit, Matthew McConaughey is cool, though.

A fantastic breakdown of why the Truman Show was so much better than Edtv can be found here.  I can’t disagree with any of that.  And yet, I prefer Edtv.  I don’t have a single legitimate reason I can think of, I just do.  I’ve got nothing.  Houston, we have a problem.


Apollo 13 –  Wait, who the hell are those guys?  Oh yeah, this actually happened…like for real.  In that photo are the actual astronauts of Apollo 13 landing safely on April 17th, 1970.  At the same time and miles away, my sister was born.  So, it was the second most important event on that day.

Ed Harris’ portrayal of Gene Kranz absolutely made the movie.  Failure is not an option!  
I actually named several players in my Out of the Park Baseball game after characters in the film, including Ken Mattingly and Jim Lovell.  Did you say you wanted more bullet points?  Of course you did…

  • Jack Swigert actually said Houston we’ve had a problem first , but couldn’t be heard on his radio.  Lovell repeated the line more clearly and got the credit.  Plus, it was not “Houston we have a problem.”
  • The real Jim Lovell appears in the film at the end greeting the astronauts on the aircraft carrier.
  • Lieutenant Dan once told Forrest Gump that he would become an astronaut…just not on Apollo 13 I guess.
  • Fred Haise’s line, “I could eat the ass out of a dead rhinoceros” was not said by Haise in real life.  It came from Gary Busey in Point Break.
  • Ken Mattingly was bald.
  • Practically Ron Howard’s whole family has a place in the film, including his mother as Jim Lovell’s mom and his father as the priest.

More importantly, our hero Kevin Bacon played Jack Swigert in Apollo 13, therein completing the circle.


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