Six Degrees of Syracuse

Six Degrees of Syracuse

Syracuse is full of famous alum, from Joe Biden to every sportscaster ever to my favorite non-Gemini astronaut when he isn’t too scary looking, Story Musgrave. So I thought it’d be fun, for me at least, to come up with six degrees of Syracuse off the top of my head…and rechecking my facts a little later if necessary.

Right now I am listening to GROUPLOVE. Great band by the way, whose debut album “Never Trust A Happy Song” comes out stateside on September 13th. If you can’t wait that long, they have an EP out right now and will be in Chicago for Lollapalooza on August 6th. I’ll take a free album now or free Lollapalooza tickets. Anyway, GROUPLOVE’s drummer Ryan Rabin is the son of Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin. Trevor Rabin was in Yes with drummer Alan White. Alan White drummed for George Harrison on All Things Must Pass (another great album…or three albums to be exact). Do people still say album? George Harrison was briefly in the Rutles movie “All You Need is Cash” (hilarious movie) starring John Halsey as Barry. John Halsey, an all-around funny and nice guy, drummed on Lou Reed’s best album, Transformer. And Lou Reed went to Syracuse. Was that six?

Despite the fact that I went to film school, I had a much harder time coming up with this connection. But earlier my wife was watching MacGyver…for a few minutes at least before we realized just how awful that show really was. But after spending a day making fun of MacGyver, I wanted to connect Richard Dean Anderson to Syracuse. Richard Dean Anderson was in Stargate SG-1 (decent show) with Beau Bridges. Beau Bridges, who joined the cast of SG-1 later in the series, was in The Wizard with Fred Savage. I watched that movie not too long ago for no apparent reason…but I never will again. Fred Savage was in The Princess Bride (anybody want a peanut?) with Peter Falk. And Peter Falk went to Syracuse…inconceivable.  

Now I’ll try and connect myself. In my film school days a teacher of mine was the creator of Welcome Back Kotter (bad show, but good theme song). Welcome Back Kotter starred John Travoltra, with the ever popular catchphrase “up your nose with a rubber hose.” Travoltra was in the awful, awful movie Look Who’s Talking, and a sequel or two, with Kirstie Alley. Kirstie Alley replaced Shelley Long on Cheers. Shelley Long was in one of the greatest movies of all time, Caveman. It really helps me make connections if there is a Beatle involved, otherwise I’m just lost. Ringo was in Caveman for those following along. But Caveman was written and directed by Carl Gottlieb. Now there is a good movie to write if you have trouble with dialogue. Gottlieb also wrote Jaws, but Caveman is much better. Carl Gottlieb went to Syracuse.

Connecting to Jim Brown, Derrick Coleman or Donovan McNabb would be too easy. But at least there are a couple football players mentioned in what is supposed to be a story about Syracuse football. Next time you see anybody on TV, try out the six degrees of Syracuse. If I can do it, and my pop culture knowledge primarily consists of crappy 80s movies and pre-1974 music, it shouldn’t be too hard for normal people.



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