Grant me some Bacon

By Phil Plait | July 16, 2010 12:00 pm

Speaking of Brea Grant

Many years ago, I wasn’t a huge fan of Kevin Bacon until I saw "The Big Picture", and then "Tremors", and so I finally decided he cracks me up and is cool.

Then someone told me about the Oracle of Bacon, where you enter an actor’s name and get their Bacon Number; their degree of separation from Kevin Bacon (if you don’t know what this is then I won’t explain because you are hopelessly unhip).

breagrant_kevinbaconI put my name into The Oracle and it came up with nothing. Drat. But wait a sec…

I’m in this video with Brea Grant (see below), who was in "Halloween II" with Octavia Spencer, who was in "Beauty Shop" with… Kevin Bacon.

I have a Bacon Number of 3!

OK, not officially, since my video with Brea probably doesn’t count. So I looked again at The Oracle, and realized it was only searching movies. As it happens I’ve done a few documentaries which are listed on IMDB, so I hit the "allow all" button on the Oracle which includes documentaries…

oracleofbacon2Aha! It still works! It doesn’t include Brea, sadly, but I suspect Aretha is pretty cool, too.

Hey, cool! I still have a Bacon number of 3.

Still, since both methods are a little dodgy, I think it’s fair to fudge it a bit. Let’s just say I have a Bacon Number of a tad more than three… say, 3.1415.

Mmmmm. Bacon Pi.

Related posts:

Brea Grant rocks Bad Astronomy!
Grant me a geek

MORE ABOUT: Brea Grant, Kevin Bacon

Comments (62)

  1. pablo

    so then what’s your Erdős–Bacon number

  2. Boss Hogg

    We always knew you were a HAM!

  3. Cindy

    Ok, so it doen’t involve actors, but my Bacon number is 4. My husband’s parents worked for Kevin Bacon’s father.

  4. davery

    Just to be the comic book guy, you should point out that Brea Grant was in Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, not the original. So there.

  5. JRQ

    Does it have to be movies? Kevin Bacon and his brother have a band — the Bacon Bros:

    My brother was in a band that one night had a gig at the same place as the Bacon’s Bros and got to hang out with them afterward. Apparently, in real life Michael Bacon is the cool one.

  6. jonom

    My Bacon Number is 2. :)

  7. Uh oh, Mr. Plait, it seems that PZ Myers has a Bacon Number of 2. In order to win this one, your new goal must be to work your way on screen with Kevin Bacon himself. Godspeed, sir.

  8. There is also plenty of cheese around here too, anyone for a sandwich?

  9. Christine

    Have you seen the tv documentary “Connected: The Power of Six Degrees”? If not, I recommend it highly. Fascinating. Took the basic idea and worked out the math, tried experiments and are applying the math elsewhere.

  10. My Bacon number is 2…I shared a brief amount of screen time behind Brad Pitt and George Clooney is Ocean’s 11. Brad Pitt was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon :)

  11. Cz-David

    That site seems to have some trouble, I can not connect to it.
    Hmm I wonder… how many readers this blog has ?

  12. Fiziker

    I have a Bacon number of 3 if I get to count being in the crew for a movie. Fiziker > Ryan Gosling > Theresa Russell > Keven Bacon.

  13. Grizzly

    Bah! Forget that stiff Bacon. I now am researching Phil Plait numbers, and I find some interesting things… Like David Tennant has a Phil Plait number of 3 as does Wil Wheaton, both with connections through Roger Tilling.


  14. Grizzly

    And wonder of wonders, Bart Sibrel has a Phil Plait number of 4 through Roger Tilling too. Who is this Tilling guy?

  15. I think the increased hits is because of mention Brea’s name so often lately, the bacon mention is probably not helping much either.

  16. Hey, my Bacon number is 3. (Me –> Bill Prady –> James Keane –> Kevin Bacon.)

    And, I suppose, everyone here has a number no more than 4, if you go to Phil Plait as your first step. :-)

    But Phil, “3.1415”? Really? If you’re going to truncate instead of round, at least do it where the next digit isn’t a 9.

  17. Mike Whitaker

    But did you know that Brea has a Phil Plait number of 4? 😀

  18. Well I for one am furious that IMDB doesn’t list my award-winning short film “NASA’s Spacecraft Chamber of Horrors”.

    No really, it won two awards. Very local awards, sure, but hey, an award is an award, right? Right?

    Hello? Is this thing on?

    *sigh* My Bacon number is infinity.

  19. BJN

    I’m more interested in your Francis Bacon number. Philosopher-scientist or Expressionist painter, take your pick.

  20. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Many years ago, I wasn’t a huge fan of Kevin Bacon until I saw “The Big Picture”, and then “Tremors”, and so I finally decided he cracks me up and is cool.

    He, something similar I’m sure; I saw him flash by as a dancer (?) in a part of a movie on television in between something else, then “Tremors”: a completely forgettable film if not for Bacon. I think he pulled out that Sean Connery/Peter O’Toole charisma.

  21. kevbo

    My name is Kevin and I like Bacon.

    Hmm. That sounds like I’m standing up at Bacon Anonymous.


    I’ll stop now.

  22. I can claim a 3; I was an extra in “Hal” (1998) with Stevie Ray Dallimore, who was in “Down” (2001) with William Roberts, who was in “Balto” (2005) with Kevin Bacon. (“Hal” was a low-budget independent, and is not on IMDB.)

  23. Well, Phil… since it’s possible to edit the Kevin Bacon field as well as the second, empty field, you may be excited to learn a few things I tried out:

    Your Nicholson number is 3
    Your Bullock number is 3
    And, most importantly:
    Your Walken number is 3.

    Hey, I’m starting to think this isn’t a Bacon-exclusive game at all. What gives!? 😉

    PS: In response to BJN’s comment above: “Phil Plait has a FRANCIS BACON number of 4.”

  24. Adrian Lopez

    Lassie (I) -> The Piece of String (1911) -> King Baggot (I) -> Holiday in Mexico (1946) -> Roddy McDowall -> The Big Picture (1989) -> Kevin Bacon. 3 degrees, just like Phil.


  25. TSC

    I’m going to second the request for your Erdős–Bacon number, BA. From Wiki, in case you’ve not heard of it before:

  26. Kevin F.

    My sister was in the documentary Jandek on Corwood and it turns out she also has a bacon number of 3!

    Amy Kelley –> Jandek on Corwood (2003) –> Barry Hansen (II) –> UHF (1989) –> Kevin McCarthy (I) –> Hero at Large (1980) –> Kevin Bacon

  27. RCSI

    I unofficially have a Bacon number of 3.

    Now to achieve a Plait number of 1. 😛

  28. Tooner

    “Isn’t this an astronomy website?”

    Somebody had to.

  29. Gary

    “but I suspect Aretha is pretty cool, too.”

    You suspect? YOU SUSPECT?

  30. Leander

    Like a candle. Really.

  31. Leander

    She looks…*tapped nicer business (in another life)*…stars in *barf*…reads my blog…*whoot whoot whoot*. The simple mechanisms of the universe. Observable, reproducable, true…

    I appreciate any comments, but what on earth makes you think I’ll remember there’s anything to reply to once I wake up tomorrow ?

  32. Sue

    I went to high school with Meryl Streep, which apparently gives me a Bacon number of 2. Not that I can put it in my faculty service report….

  33. Molybdenumfist

    I tried it and got Phil Plait > Jeff Hester > Martin Sheen > Kevin Bacon.
    It appears that there isn’t a unique solution. I’d be interested to see how their bacon optimisation algorithm works.

  34. Pi-needles

    Still, since both methods are a little dodgy, I think it’s fair to fudge it a bit. Let’s just say I have a Bacon Number of a tad more than three… say, 3.1415. Mmmmm. Bacon Pi.

    Yes let’s! 😉

    Bacon pi? Usually there’s egg involved somewhere there too.

    As for me, well I’ve watched Kevin Bacon on TV and at cinemas and for the Plait no. regularly post comments on this blog – does that count? 😉

  35. Tim G

    Oh no! PZ is closer to both Colbert and Bacon than Phil is.

  36. rolandthg

    I stumped it Jeremy Clarkson

    Jeremy Clarkson host Top Gear -> who had Helen Mirren on as the star in a reasonably priced car -> Helen Mirren kissed Kyra Sedgwick in Losing Chase -> Kyra sedgwick is married to Kevin Bacon

  37. JMW

    Bacon pi?

    I once saw a recipe for bacon jam.

  38. Steve Paluch

    I’m donating a steadicam to you as soon as I can afford one.

  39. Left_Wing_Fox

    I think I have a bacon number of 2 actually. I did animation work on a documentary narrated by Jon Lithgow.

  40. 2.

    Worked with his sister on a project in Baltimore. And she had photos of him in her condo. So, really, like 1.8.

  41. JJonahJansen

    I have a Bacon # of 2. I was an extra in a scene with Billy Crudup for Watchmen. Crudup was in Sleepers with Bacon. Woo-hoo!

  42. Darren Evans

    Isn’t ‘Dorking out’ all over somebody an arrestable offence? Bad man Phil, bad man :)

  43. CJSF

    All I get when I put names in that site is, “Unknown error number -1.” Is anyone else having that issue?


  44. 27. RCSI Says: “Now to achieve a Plait number of 1.”

    1) Write a book.
    2) Have Phil write the Foreword.

    – Jack

  45. Charlie in Dayton

    Martin Sheen (B#1) went to high school with my Dad (B#2) who later on begat me (B#3).

    And yes, I have a Plait # of 1, having both heard him lecture (2x) and actually have had the pleasure of dining with him (TAM 1).

    What, to get a number you have to work with him? Fine. Ask him to recite that reprehensible pun I quoted him in Cincinnati…had to do with 2026 and some asteroid…

    Beat that, y’all…

  46. I have an Erdős number of 4, if physics papers are allowed, and a Bacon number of 4, via Fox News idiot Steve Doocy and Dick Clark, if TV appearances are allowed (which they usually aren’t). So I guess my Erdős-Bacon number is 8 with an asterisk. And my Kibo number is 1, so I arguably have an Kibo-Erdős-Bacon number of 9. I think that’s pretty low for the general population, though probably far from the record.

    This is where I make the joke about my book, “Kibo, Erdős, Bacon: An Eternal Krunchy Breakfast.”

  47. Jbags

    For actors in general film, its amazingly hard to find anyone with a bacon number above 3. I’ve been searching for a while now, thinking of minor roles from the more esoteric films in my collection, and even minor extras in German silent films from the twenties managed to find a Bacon number of 3. I tried minor characters in a couple of Japanese silent films as well… Bacon number of 3. He’s everywhere!

  48. pj

    I was going to say you are officially cool. Now after reading all of these comments, I think that might make your ego *pop*.

  49. MadScientist

    Dang, there are too many certified certifiable geeks out there and they’ve already brought up the Erdos number.

  50. My good friend Rez Kempton has a Bacon number of 2! (He was in ‘Reuniting the Rubens’ with Rhona Mitra who was in ‘Hollow Man’ with Kevin Bacon in 2000). Cool!

  51. Gus Snarp

    I think you have to stretch the rules of the game a bit when you are dealing with people who aren’t movie stars. It also helps point out the whole six degrees of separation concept – that we’re all more connected than we realize. So I will allow your Bacon number of three. I have you beat with a Bacon number of 2, which I suppose gives me a Plait number of 5? But better still, I have a Wheaton number of 3. Is your Wheaton number 1? That would give me a Plait number of only 4! I always think it would be interesting to use Facebook to figure out more people’s Bacon numbers, after all, my friends all have Bacon Numbers of 3 and don’t even know it. But since so many people would lie, we’d never get accurate estimates.

  52. rob

    my Bacon number is 5 since Phil and I have a colleague in common. however, when i pop Dave Pirner into the Oracle of Bacon, i get a bacon number of 3.

  53. abe

    My bacon number is two, I guess, since I worked on a section of trail he likes hiking on, and ran into numerous people who passed him on the trail.

    We had to warn hikers to hang their food up at night lest he come and eat it.

  54. tresmal

    Bad news: the Big Squid has you beat.

  55. taiki

    Your close personal friend Adam Savage has a Bacon number of 2, btw.

  56. Gary Ansorge

    I guess when Kevin Bacons parents conceived him they were,,,makin Bacon,,,

    Gary 7

  57. MarkAH

    I guess my BN would be 4…. my dad was the Coast Guard rescue helicopter hoist operator that lifted out the castaways of Gilligan’s island. So it goes my dad- Bob Denver w/ David Bowe(not singer) in back to the beach. David Bowe(not singer) w/ Kevin Bacon in a few good men.

    My dad rescued Gilligan :-)

  58. Kevin

    I have a Bacon number of 4.

    I have a Plait number of 1.

  59. Robin Ferguson

    Does asking a question during FA’s interview earn me a Plait number of 1?

    The only Bacon connection I have is my father-in-law helped in the design of the Saturn V rocket, (he’s a mechanical engineer) and Bacon starred in a movie about Apollo 13. A stretch to Bacon perhaps…but 17 years with the family has given me a whole new appreciation for space.

  60. DGKnipfer

    I have a Bacon number of 3, Phil.

    is married to
    Stevie Wonder
    for Armed Forces Radio and Television
    Stevie Wonder
    was in
    The 47th Annual Grammy Awards (2005) (TV)
    Kevin Bacon

    You have to do better.

  61. dmso

    Leander, what’s with the Brea-hating? And Dexter is a dimwit TV show now? Just…go away.

  62. dmso (61): I deleted Leander’s comment, as it clearly violated my “Don’t be a jerk” policy.


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