Friday, September 14, 2012

How many degrees are candidates away from Kevin Bacon?

Which candidates have low Bacon numbers? You might be surprised to find out.

First a bit of explanation. A few years ago, a couple of college kids came up with a game called “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon.” It’s simple — take any random celebrity, say Abe Vigoda, and connect the dots to actor Kevin Bacon.

Vigoda worked with Ariana Richards in “Prancer.” Richards and Bacon appeared together in “Tremors,” so Abe Vigoda’s “Bacon number” is two. Get it?

For some unknown reason, search engine titan Google put a Bacon number calculator in its search function. Try it — Google “Bacon number Betty White,”  or any celebrity, and see how they’re connected to Bacon.

Movie fans will find it addictive, but writers and watchers of politics may feel it doesn’t go quite far enough. You might be interested to learn that Barack Obama has a Bacon number of two (he and Tom Hanks appeared in “The Road We've Traveled,” Hanks and Bacon were both in “Apollo 13”) but Mitt Romney has no Bacon number. Just a fact. No editorial comment there at all.

Ronald Reagan, an actor before he was a politician, has a Bacon number of three (connected to Bette Davis, who is connected to John Laughlin who was in “Footloose” with Bacon) but how do our local candidates stack up, Bacon number-wise?

So here, for entertainment’s sake, is the extended Bacon number for some candidates in Connecticut. None were actors, so we’ve had to make some logical connections through political donations. Oh, and if you can logically lower any candidate’s Bacon number, send an email to

Linda McMahon: Bacon number 3
McMahon got a donation from Regis Philbin (Bacon number two), who appeared in “The Bad News Bears Go to Japan” with William Devane, who was in “Hollow Man” with Bacon.

Chris Murphy: Bacon number 3
Actress Jane Curtin (Bacon number two) donated to Murphy’s campaign. Curtin and Noah Wyle were both in “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear” and Wyle was in “A Few Good Men” with Bacon. (Note: Chris Donovan, former 5th District candidate also has a Bacon number of three through Curtin.)

Elizabeth Esty: Bacon number 4
Ann Lembeck, wife of comedian Denis Leary (Bacon number two), donated to Esty’s campaign. Leary and Emma Stone appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man,” and Stone and Bacon appeared in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

Andrew Roraback: Bacon number 4
This one’s a bit of a stretch. Actor Rip Torn made a contribution to Nancy Johnson’s 5th District campaign in 2002. Johnson endorsed Roraback in his own bid for the 5th District this year, Torn (Bacon number two) worked with Josh Brolin in “Men in Black 3,” and Brolin worked with Bacon in “Hollow Man.”

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