Guardians of the Galaxy: Kevin Bacon's Cameo in Holiday Special, Explained

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special mined a lot of good humor out of the joke that it's "introducing" a new actor named Kevin Bacon – but what IS the iconic actor's role in this Marvel Studios Special Presentation for the holiday season? Now that The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is out and streaming on Disney+, Keven Bacon's role in the special (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe) has been revealed! 

WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW!

As the trailer for The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special clearly teased, Kevin Bacon's role in the story is as himself, Kevin Bacon. In a callback to the very first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff), remember Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) story about the legendary Kevin Bacon who liberated a town with his dancing (as seen in Footloose). After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Star-Lord is depressed about the loss of his Gamora, and being estranged from the version of Gamora from an alternate past; Drax and Mantis feel that giving Peter Quill Kevin Bacon as a Christmas present would be the ultimate gesture to finally lift his spirits up. So they set out to retrieve him from Earth. 

The majority of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special follows Drax and Mantis' half-cooked mission on Earth to find and get Kevin Bacon – which basically involves an afternoon/evening romp through LA. Ultimately they get into Kevin Bacon's home as he's preparing for the holidays and after a madcap chase, Drax and Mantis use the latter's power to enchant Bacon and fly him off-world to Knowhere. 

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(Photo: Disney+)

Luckily for Kevin Bacon, Peter Quill realizes that the massive gift box that the Guardians present him with is actually a living, breathing, person. Quill gets Bacon out of the box, and the actor rewards him with a Christmas tune played with an alien band, after learning how Footloose inspired Quill to save the galaxy in Guardians 1. In the end, the Guardians return Bacon to Earth safe and sound. 

Kevin Bacon deserves all the applause for his winking role in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Bacon does a hilarious send-up of himself in "real life" as an LA actor; he also endures a lot of good jokes at his own expense, as Drax and Mantis quickly become disillusioned with the fact that Kevin Bacon is an actor, and not some epic hero of legend. Bacon handles lines like "We hate you, Kevin Bacon!" with more good nature than most could. 

Finally, if this is just a one-off appearance (or the beginning of something more), it's satisfying to know that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now six degrees (or less) from Kevin Bacon. 

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"I've been researching this role for 64 years now," Bacon joked to ET. "I've done quite a few things where I played myself, both in films, but also in commercial spots and stuff like that. And I take my work really, really seriously, but I don't take myself really, really seriously. So to be able to poke fun at yourself... it's just a blast. I love this kind of heightened idea of what my life is and like, for instance, the house that I have, I can guarantee you that my house doesn't look anything like that house."

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney+.