“Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” It’s a game I’m sure we’ve all played at one time or another. It’s where you take a celebrity and try to trace them to actor Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. Now with the new app on Google, tracing celebrities to Kevin Bacon is easier than ever!
A Quick History Lesson
“Six Degrees of Separation” refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth. So a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally theorized in 1929 by Hungarian author Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by the 1990 play, Six Degrees of Separation, written by John Guare, and later in the 1993 film of the same name.
The game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” was invented as a play on the concept: the goal is to link any actor to Kevin Bacon through no more than six connections, where two actors are connected if they have appeared in a movie, TV show, or commercial together. It was created by four students at Albright College in Pennsylvania, who came up with the concept while watching Footloose.
Last week, the wizards at Google added a new time wasting application that lets you find the Bacon Number of any celebrity just by typing “Bacon Number” after their name in the search bar. But what exactly is a Bacon Number? Simply put, the Bacon Number of an actor or actress is the number of degrees of separation he or she has from Kevin Bacon. For example, an actor or actress who has worked directly with Kevin Bacon has a Bacon Number of 1.
Let’s Try It
If you go to Google and type in “Johnny Depp Bacon Number,” you see that Johnny Depp has a Bacon Number of 2.
Helena Bonham Carter and Kevin Bacon appeared in Novocaine.
As you do this more and more, you will find that most celebrities have a Bacon Number of 2.
To find your Bacon Number is simple. If you have met Kevin Bacon, congratulations! You have a Bacon Number of 1. If you haven’t met Kevin Bacon, think of a celebrity you have met, find their Bacon Number and add 1 (the link between you and the celebrity). For example, my Bacon Number would be 3 because:
- I met Matthew Fox on an airplane to Hawaii (true story).
Matthew Fox and January Jones appeared in We Are Marshall.
January Jones and Kevin Bacon appeared in X-Men: First Class.
Try it for yourself and let us know what your Bacon Number is. Can you find a celebrity that has a Bacon Number greater than 2? Let us know in the comments below. And just in case you were wondering, Kevin Bacon’s Bacon Number is 0.