Social Question

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

Is Kevin Bacon right?

Asked by TheProfoundPorcupine (2512 points ) November 27th, 2012

Here in the UK there is an advert for a mobile phone network starring Kevin Bacon and the advert focuses on the 6 degrees idea and him showing how he is linked to every actor in the world.

The question is can you link yourself to somebody famous in six moves or less? There must be a link such as you are friends with somebody, there is a work connection or anything else that is not just down to you saw them in McDonalds and you worked in McDonalds for 3 months in 1995

I will start and give an example.

Me to Lionel Messi (best soccer player on the planet)

Me – neighbour I have lived beside for over 20 years who worked for a football club and cleaned the kit for Sir Alex Ferguson who signed Gerald Pique who now plays for Barcelona and is a team mate of Lionel Messi.

Me – Neighbour – Sir Alex Ferguson – Gerald Pique – Lionel Messi

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43 Answers

picante's avatar

I know someone who met and talked to Kevin Bacon. They were on the same small plane flying from Chicago to some little town.

Me – colleague – Kevin Bacon.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@picante Hi!

Me – picante – colleague – Kevin Bacon.

Jokes aside, my grandmother was a cleaner and baby sitter for Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and his kids.

My father is a stage magician and comedian, who has met Tommy Cooper, Armando de Miguel, and the lead singer from Right Said Fred.

I have a good friend who is friends with someone in Rafa Nadal’s family.

I think that is about it.

bhec10's avatar

<shifts eyes> Messi is not the best football player in the world, Ronaldo is! :-)

And no, I probably don’t have any connections to Kevin Bacon nor anyone famous (at least that I know of).

Shippy's avatar

Awesome question. If I think about it, it is less than 6 moves in most cases. I have so many so will give a few.

My best mate David – Madonna = 1 move
My Gran – her cousin – Secretary to the Queen = 2 moves
My friend shelby – Lisa Baily (International fashion model) 1 move
My son – City Bowl Misers = 1 move
My ex husband – Sean Thompson (international surfer) 1 move
A Group I joined – Alexa Singer (International model ) 1 move?

I could go on and on, I wont but its interesting to know this, since I should be networking more right? !! (Would Madonna take my call!!)

laurenkem's avatar

Wow, @Shippy that’s a lot of connections! I think I only have one. Me – my friend Ronnie from North Carolina – he is Heather Locklear’s 2nd cousin.

Shippy's avatar

@laurenkem I know, and I lead a dowdy boring life, something is wrong!!!!!! I need that cell phone lol

JLeslie's avatar

I’ve met several famous people and have friends, work colleagues, and aquaintances who are related to or know a famous person.

I’ve met Blythe Danner and years and years later had dinner with her brother-in-law before I realized he was Bobby Paltrow’s brother, so he was Gweneth Paltrows uncle.

My aunt has met Paul Newman and several other actors, I can’t remember who. She used to go to parties that quite often had several actors and also she did fund raisers with them.

Rafa Matos, the race car driver, used to be one of the mechanics that helped out where my husband did his karting. I’ve met several race car drivers and honestly I don’t remember their names, but my husband would know.

Several of my friends here in Memphis had parents who went to school with Elvis or knew people who worked with Elvis.

One of my close friends knows a close relative of one of the Rolling Stones I think? I can’t remember exactly. I know they attended a weddng where the famous person was in attendance also. I’d have to ask her who it was to be sure.

This stuff does not stick with me well obviously. I am rarely very star struck.

@poisonedantidote me – picante love it! Very funny.

jonsblond's avatar

I’ve told this story many times, but for those who haven’t heard it…

One of my sisters went on a few dates with Bruce Willis in the mid-80s (before he married Demi Moore). My sister’s name is Phyllis. Phyllis Willis, what a name that could have been! ;)

Me-my sister-Bruce Willis

LostInParadise's avatar

I had an uncle who had Elizabeth Taylor as a student. She was rarely in class, because she was usually off making movies.

I have another uncle who had Robert Redford as a student. My uncle does not remember much about him.

I remember Kevin Bacon was on the NPR show Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. They mentioned the six degree thing and Bacon said that he was initially upset by it, because he thought that people were making fun of a mediocre actor. Got to like someone who does not take himself too seriously. I may have a link to him, because I met and shook hands with Terry Gross and Susan Stamberg of NPR when our local station had an open house.

gailcalled's avatar

Me…Milo.

poisonedantidote's avatar

As to if Kevin Bacon is right, and we are all just 6 steps apart, lets take a look.

If we say all your facebook friends count as a link, and you assume someone active on facebook has friended about ⅔ of all the people they actually know, and that the average works out to about 500 links per person.

(if my math is not flawed here)

0 steps = 500 links
1 steps = 250.000 links
2 steps = 125.000.000 links
3 steps = 62.500.000.000 links
4 steps = 31.250.000.000.000 links
5 steps = 15.625.000.000.000.000 links
6 steps = 7.812.500.000.000.000.000 links

Even a total loaner will meet 100 people along the way, so I think even at a very conservative estimate, all humans are linked on 3 steps or less.

With a full blown 6 steps, and a population of 7 billion, by the 6th step, you would be linked to every human on this planet, about 1.1 billion different ways each.

Shippy's avatar

@gailcalled You missed one out

You – Milo – CEO of Whiskers

picante's avatar

Milo – gailcalled – picante – colleague – Kevin Bacon

ucme's avatar

My grandad’s best friend’s postman’s hairdresser did a great Tony Curtis cut…err, that’s all I got.

augustlan's avatar

I’ve met quite a few famous or semi-famous people, mostly when I was a kid or teenager. I grew up with parents who worked in the theater, so I had ample opportunity. Two who come to mind at the moment are Robert Goulet and Marvin Hamlisch.

Seek's avatar

Sure! I also like to play this game with Leonard Nimoy. It’s stupid easy, as almost anyone who’s anyone has played in an episode of Trek at one time or another, or is within one degree of someone who has.

My hubby is buddies with lead singer of Cannibal Corpse who played in the club scene in Ace Ventura, by request of Jim Carrey. The band also played a private party for Cher’s son. There’s my three or less degree to just about everyone in the Hollywood A-List.

SuperMouse's avatar

I have met some celebrities and through them I could probably be linked to several others. I met Ron Eldard when he was in Doubt on Broadway (one of the best nights of my life), he starred in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon so there is one degree between me and the man himself! Even cooler though is that my grandfather worked for Warner Brothers from the 1930’s through the early 1980’s and met all kinds of stars from Hollywood’s golden age.

ucme's avatar

I did kiss Princess Diana when I was 13, but that’s a well worn tale.

zenvelo's avatar

I was an extra in a film with Kevin Bacon (Quicksilver, filmed at my work). Thus everyone on Fluther is one degree of Kevin Bacon.

downtide's avatar

I used to work for a professional football club in the English league. Just a lower-division club, but I met a few high-profile stars including Kenny Dalgliesh, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona. So I’m no more than two degrees away from anyone who was involved in professional football in the early 1990s.

Also I’m three hops from Kevin Bacon:

I met Bruce Boxleitner at a science fiction convention for Babylon 5 – Bruce worked with Jeff Bridges on the Tron movies – Jeff Bridges is currently working with Kevin Bacon in a movie due to be released next year

Shippy's avatar

Milo and a packet of bacon? OK, I need to clarify Milo is a cat right?

DigitalBlue's avatar

My uncle went to high school with Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy.)
My husband was best friends in high school with a world champion athlete. (I’m not going to say who, because I feel it says too much about my identity.)

There might be more, but those are the two that jump to mind.

chyna's avatar

Graduated from high school with country singer Kathy Matea.
Met and had drinks with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus’ brother.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh yeah, I went to school with Mark Bryan from Hootie and the Blowfish. Lived pretty close to him, saw him at the pool. I think maybe we had the same 6th grade teacher, but I’m not sure. I don’t remember the boys in the class well. Facebook friends with him and his sister and many other people I grew up with.

tedibear's avatar

Me -> my college friend -> her step-daughter -> Kevin Bacon. Her step-daughter worked at a Thai restaurant where he and Kyra Sedgwick would get take-out.

filmfann's avatar

I have mentioned before that I knew this guy in High School. I saw him a few times after graduation, but it isn’t like we were best buds.
So, that links me with Kevin Bacon in 2 moves.

Everyone has met someone famous before they became famous. I have a friend whose brother dated Debra Harry of Blondie in High School.

On my crew, there are people who went to school with Robin Williams and Carlos Santana.

My sister used to date Tim Gorman, who went on to play keyboards for the Who during the Eminence Front period.

cookieman's avatar

me – ex-boss – Stevie Wonder, Elton John, David Copperfield, Nancy Kerrigan
I was a graphic designer at an event company (stage sets mostly) and these were some of the clients I worked on. I met a couple of them too.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I’m going to redo @poisonedantidote‘s calculations in reverse, using the number of people on this planet as the target number, and reverse-calculating the number of friends each person would need.

6 steps = 7,000,000,000 (a rough estimate)

x^6 = 7,000,000,000
x = 43.737

If zero steps is yourself, one step is your friends, and two steps is your friend’s friends, then this calculation gives a rough idea that we really don’t need many friends in order to be connected with many people.

However, I believe that there is a better estimation method than this, as this implies that there is only one series of connections between two people. It is possible for people to be connected in more than one way.

jaytkay's avatar

If you really want to test it, try it with random non-famous people.

I don’t put a lot of personal info online, but it’s tempting to make a game of it.

For example, I could name a person. Say my friend Mary Beth in the LA suburbs.

And I give you a message for her. How many steps does it take?

Rules:
– The message can only be passed in person or by phone (No Facebook!)
– The message can only be passed to someone you have previoiusly spoken to in person or on the phone
– Nobody can be in the chain twice (you can’t send it back through me)

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

If I understand this concept, I’m 2 degrees from Anthony Bourdain (an old friend is one of his producer/directors), and 2 degrees from former President Clinton (a doctor I once worked for is the Deputy UN Special Envoy to Haiti under Clinton who is the UN Special Envoy to Haiti), and one degree from actor Peter Coyote (We hung out together for a couple of years in the SF Bay Area back in the early ‘70s).

Coloma's avatar

Me- local feed store- Bruce Willis asking for directions to ranch properties for sale in my area.
haha

linguaphile's avatar

Me—Margaret Thatcher. Met her when I was 15.

Me—Princess Micheal of Kent (also met at age 15)—entire British royal family as of 1987.

Me—Tyrone Giordano (good friend of mine)—whoever he’s met in Hollywood (Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meryl Streep, etc.)

Me—my roommate—John Elway, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears. My roommate teaches at a University and taught about 20 former and current NFL players.

FutureMemory's avatar

Me – my dad – Michael Douglas.

My dad once met Michael Douglas at a bar, and ended up driving him home because he was too drunk to do so himself. My dad had gone to the bar in someone else’s car, and it turned out that Mr. Douglas lived about 15 minutes (walking) from where my dad’s car was parked – so he simply walked to his car and pocketed the 100 bucks Michael gave him to catch a taxi home.

jrpowell's avatar

My Bacon Number is four.

When I was about 12 we went to Universal Studios and on the way back we stopped at a Fatburger to get dinner. On the way out we noticed Jim J. Bullock waiting while the police helped him get into his Corvette that he had locked his keys inside of. We asked to get a picture with him and he obliged.

So according to Google their number is three.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Me—My friend Hannah—- Kevin Bacon
Me—Hannah—Jim Caviezel

She was an extra on their shows.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I’ve asked one of my friends about this, and he says that the original calculation was based off of the assumption of 30 friends. I’ll have to figure out how they obtained 6 links from 30 friends per person.

Jussange's avatar

Me – acquaintance who lives in Tracy and next door to the following – MC Hammer – Psy – etc.
Me – Instructor in High School – Steve Martin – etc.

Supacase's avatar

Me -> Neighbor is 2nd cousin of -> Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with -> Kevin Bacon

Me -> ex husband knows -> Pete Wentz who was brother in law to -> Jessica Simpson who was in Major Movie Star with -> Steve Gutenberg who was in Diner with -> Kevin Bacon.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

Ok, I’ll play.

My Bacon Number is three.

Me => Brian Austin Green (I was in a film with him) => Mena Suvari (they were in “Last Stop”) => Kevin Bacon (Suvari was in “Beauty Shop” with him)

I’ve spotted many celebrities, but I’ve only actually been introduced to a couple. One was Oliver Stone. I’ve met (and chatted with) Marlee Matlin a few times. I’ve also met Edward Albee.

As for Kevin Bacon-style connections, most are through my uncle and grandmother; my family has been in Southern California for generations, and family members have worked/are working in the industry.

Me => uncle => Lara Flynn Boyle, Dennis Hopper, Alan Rickman, and others.

Me=> grandmother => John Huston and a few others from old Hollywood.

JLeslie's avatar

I was watching TV the other day and saw Ricki Lake has a show again, she grew up where I lived through grade 4. A lot of my friends from that time know her. I might have talked or played with her at one time on the school playground for all I know. Or, one of the community celebrations like May Pole, Easter egg hunts, or alike. We actually should have been in the same grade by our birth year, but my parents started me early.

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