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Three decades ago, we did not have smartphones. Or Twitter. Or Netflix. Or “Clash of Clans” or whatever else it is that people play with the sound on in the subway these days to avoid reading or talking to other people. When we went to the bar, our options for entertaining ourselves were much more limited. We could smoke (Inside! Really!), play darts or pool, watch TV (terrestrial, with commercials and everything), read or, you know, talk to each other. The weakness and paucity of those options, even with the lubricating effects of alcohol, is made clear by something else we did: Make up and play stupid games requiring no technology.

One of these games was called “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” This was based on the premise that Bacon was either so prolific an actor or so lacking in discernment (or both) that just about every movie actor in the history of time could be connected to Bacon within six filmic steps. For instance, Mary Pickford—who last appeared in a film nine years before Bacon was born—can be connected to him in just three steps, giving her a “Bacon number” of three. In fact, according to The Oracle of Bacon website (yes, technology has inserted itself even into this extremely stupid game), it’s vanishingly rare to have a Bacon number higher than four: It’s found just over 10,000 actors with fives or sixes, and less than 200 with numbers higher than that—compared to 447,801 with fours or less (including Bacon himself with a Bacon number of zero).

Still, even with those statistics—and even taking into account the broader philosophical notion that all people on earth are connectable within six social connections—there’s someone with the surprisingly low Bacon number of one.

The actor revealed that he and his wife, Kyra Sedgwick, had invested and lost "most of our money" in Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme during Monday's episode of the SmartLess podcast, hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.

"There's obvious life lessons there. You know, if something is too good to be true, it's too good to be true," Bacon recalled. "When something like that happens, you know, you look at each other, then you go, 'Well, that sucks. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work,' you know?"

So, if you were wondering why Bacon said “yes” to the likes of “R.I.P.D.” and “Super” and “Elephant White,” now you know.

Kevin Bacon lost 'most' of his money in Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme [EW]
Kevin Bacon explains how he lost ‘most’ of his fortune to Bernie Madoff: ‘There’s obvious life lessons there’ [CNBC]

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