020:336 Bacon

I have a Bacon Number.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, a Bacon Number is the number of degrees of separation an actor or actress has from actor Kevin Bacon.

For example, if a person has been in a movie with Mr. Bacon, that actor has a Bacon Number of 1. If an actress has been in a movie with someone who has been in a movie with Mr. Bacon, that actress has a Bacon Number of 2. And so on and so on.

There is a handy-dandy website, The Oracle of Bacon, that will help you discover the Bacon Number of your favorite thespian.

However, as I am not a professional actor, how is it that I have a Bacon Number of 2.

This is my story.

After graduating college, circa 1990, I became a professional game show contestant. As I was living in the Southern California area at the time, this made it easy for me to attempt to win scads of cash and fabulous prizes because all the big shows were taped in said area of the country. After a few failures (and seriously, the entrance exam for Jeopardy! is brutally hard), I finally scored the opportunity to appear on the show Tic-Tac-Dough. We take you now to a screen capture of me on the show as it aired in September of 1990…

ttd

(Right after this moment, I would pick the “Pop Music” category and get the answer right, which was “Stevie Ray Vaughn”.)

Now, I loved this show when I was a kid and the opportunity to meet host Wink Martindale was a dream come true. However, that dream would be crushed as the incarnation of this show had Patrick Wayne as the master of ceremonies. So, courtesy of my five days of appearing on Tic-Tac-Dough and sharing the small screen with Patrick Wayne, I have a Bacon Number. However, a quick scan of The Oracle of Bacon shows that Mr. Wayne has a Bacon Number of 2 (P. Wayne was in Her Alibi (1989) with Brian Constanti who was in Diner (1982) with K. Bacon), which would give me a Bacon Number of 3.

That’s true, but Tic-Tac-Dough was not the only game show I have appeared on.

In 1997, I appeared on the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money on Comedy Central. This was a great concept of a show as the producers actually gave Ben Stein money and if contestants won the final game, their prize money was taken from Mr. Stein’s stack of cash. You really were winning Ben Stein’s money.

Now, while no actual footage exists of my appearance, I do still have the Contestant Information Sheet that was mailed to me prior to my taping.

winbensteinform

I love the fact that one could not wear tiny polka dots as part of one’s wardrobe.

Courtesy of my appearance on this particular game show and because I shared the small screen with actor Ben Stein, my Bacon Number is 2. The Oracle of Bacon tells me that B. Stein has a Bacon Number of 1 because he was in Planes, Trains, & Automobiles (1987), a movie in which K. Bacon has a cameo as “Taxi Racer” and is uncredited (source here…see #8). Since Mr. Stein has a Bacon Number of 1 and I was on camera with him, ergo, my Bacon Number is 2.

That’s my story.

Now if I can just find someone to co-author a book or paper with me who has an Erdos Number, then I can be one of them rare birds who has a Erdos-Bacon Number.

Oh, dare to dream to be in the same league as Carl Sagan and Danica McKellar.

P.S. If you want to know how much of Mr. Stein’s money I did win…well, that’s a story for another day.

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