Before He Was Kevin Bacon, He Was Waiting Tables in NYC

Kevin Bacon reminisces on his early days as a struggling actor, when he made ends meet by working as a server at New York’s legendary All State Café.

Released on 7/16/2015

Credits

Starring: Kevin Bacon

Transcript

00:06
About waiting tables, which is one thing
00:08
I did find out about you.
00:10
You, All State Cafe on the Upper West Side,
00:13
that was your first,
00:15
which supposedly was the inspiration for Cheers.
00:17
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
00:18
Yeah, so the All State Cafe was on 72nd Street.
00:22
It was actually my second job.
00:25
My first job was at Fiorello's Roman Cafe.
00:28
I was a busboy,
00:31
eventually made it to waiter.
00:33
Fiorello's was like a fancier restaurant.
00:35
(laughter)
00:36
You had to put things on a tray.
00:39
So I had two hamburgers and one bottle of ketchup,
00:44
and I'll never forget this.
00:45
I was walking down the aisle toward the gentleman
00:48
to deliver the two hamburgers and the one bottle of ketchup.
00:51
The ketchup started to go like this,
00:52
blam, it hit the terracotta.
00:56
It exploded all over this dude's white suit,
00:59
(laughter)
01:00
and I thought to myself,
01:02
well, I can't really deal with the suit right now,
01:06
I gotta put the hamburgers down.
01:09
But what he saw was, I just completely ruined his suit
01:13
and just kept blowing right on by.
01:16
So he, you know, lost his shit and went crazy.
01:19
And the manager took me down into the office
01:24
at the end of the day, and he said,
01:26
You know you're not ready to be a waiter, right?
01:29
That's what happened to me.
01:30
Anyway, eventually I left that job
01:33
and ended up at the All State Cafe which was,
01:35
you're right, one of the patrons of the All State Cafe,
01:40
which was a magical place, honestly.
01:44
This was 1977, I think, by the time
01:47
I started working there, or late '76.
01:50
It was the real version of Cheers.
01:53
People from all walks of life,
01:55
walking down into this basement kind of joint.
01:59
The Upper West Side was a very different place
02:02
than it is now.
02:03
It just had a vibe that was kind of undeniable.
02:08
A jukebox and just a feeling of family,
02:15
of home, and cameraderie.