In 1994, a parlor game known as the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” jumped from the campus of Pennsylvania’s Albright College into the American pop cultural consciousness.
As pointless but enjoyable as the decade that bore it, the game challenged America’s Generation X to find the distance between actor Kevin Bacon and other actors and filmmakers in Hollywood. For instance, Bacon worked with Sarah Jessica Parker in Footloose, so Parker is only one degree removed from Bacon. Parker then worked with Cynthia Nixon on Sex and the City, so Nixon is two degrees removed from Bacon. Etc.
Since the release of some of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails, the saloons and fraternities are scrambling to figure out Clinton’s place on the Kevin Bacon nexus. After all, Hillary Clinton frequently emailed some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities and power-players, even though her own Libya ambassador Chris Stevens didn’t even have Clinton’s email address when he was killed by terrorists.
Let’s find the easiest paths from Clinton to Hollywood legend Kevin Bacon (special thanks to the database at oracleofbacon.org for its help in our exhaustive analysis).
Hillary was on a first-name basis with Hollywood super-producer Weinstein, as evidenced by the fact that she was searching for a copy of a Weinstein-produced documentary on Libya on the morning of the Benghazi terrorist attack. Clinton appeared in that film, “The Oath of Tobruk,” to talk about gender issues in Libya.
“I think Harvey made it and showed it at Cannes last spring,” Clinton said, referring to the south-of-France film festival like a seasoned industry pro.
Weinstein has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest award-baiters and has close Bacon proximity, but since he actually fired Bacon from a movie called “Escape From Planet Earth,” paying him $25,000 to exit the production, let’s find a different route.
One of Harvey Weinstein’s lamest Miramax creations, Ben Affleck jumped from a career in Kevin Smith movies to become a widely-loathed A-list actress-dater, to eventually becoming a massive director and star of films like Oscar-winner “Argo.”
He also emailed Hillary Clinton about something he was doing in Africa, and Clinton made her top aides put other things aside to come up with a response for her to send to the actor.
But before Affleck was distracting the U.S. State Department, he cut his teeth as O’Bannion, the paddle-wielding bully, chasing around the protagonist of Richard Linklater’s high school classic “Dazed and Confused.” That film’s stoner Rory Cochrane appeared in this year’s Whitey Bulger biopic “Black Mass” with Kevin Bacon. That puts Clinton three degrees away.
Jason Segel has made a name for himself as one of the less objectionable members of Judd Apatow’s traveling troupe of mediocre-looking white comedians, writing and starring in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and logging however many years on the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
Segel reached out to Clinton to do a cameo in some movie, and she took the time to write him back, rejecting the part.
“I was delighted to read about your interest in sharing the big screen with me,” Clinton told Segel. “As you can imagine, I am a little occupied at the moment, but perhaps someday I can help you forget Sarah Marshall… again. My only condition is there be Muppets involved, and that is non-negotiable. In the meantime, you have my best wishes for continued success with your career.”
Segel appeared in the 1998 Jennifer Love-Hewitt vehicle Can’t Hardly Wait with Sean Patrick Thomas, who was in “Picture Perfect” the previous year with Bacon.
Clinton, of course, chose to give one of her lengthiest campaign-cycle interviews so far to Lena Dunham, the left-wing activist who plays a comedian of some kind on social media.
Dunham was on an episode of her HBO show “Girls” with Tom Hanks’s wife Rita Wilson, who the Oracle says was in “Now and Then” with Lolita Davidovich, who was in “JFK” with Kevin Bacon.
State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter told Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin that her son said Clinton looked like Lisa Kudrow. Abedin then forwarded the message to Clinton and said “This is a nice compliment[.] Lisa is an attractive actress!”
Clinton then said something that was redacted and Abedin responded that “[redacted] certainly thinks you are cameron diaz!!”
Let’s go with: Kudrow was in “Dr. Doolittle 2” with Michael McKean, who was in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” with Bacon. We’re still at 3 degrees of separation.
Better yet, Cameron Diaz was in “Charlie’s Angels” with Bill Murray, who was in “Wild Things” with Bacon.
Obama has gotten a bad rap in the industry, leading Sony executive Amy Pascal to make fun of his career. But he’s no slouch as a comedian.
Clinton and Obama were featured together in the Wikileaks documentary “We Steal Secrets.” Obama was on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis, who was in “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie” with John C. Reilly, who did “The River Wild” with Bacon.
Give it a try. Can you help us get closer?