Old Pop Culture Not So Popular Now

As high school graduation season gets under way, it seems a fine time to hear what the students have to say.

"We're the best class yet," boasted Toby, a senior at New Albany High School outside Columbus, Ohio.

"We're hip," said a grinning senior named Meredith. "We are definitely hip."

Grandma Spins Vinyl

But it turns out some New Albany grads — many born in 1984 — were a bit foggy when it came to old-school pop culture of yore.

"Records? Some vinyl? I don't think I've ever listened to a record," confessed Rick, shades propped atop his head.

"I listen to CDs," Erin said.

"My grandmother has a record player," another student said.

"No, I haven't seen a record player," Jamie admitted.

Still Truckin’ on Antiques Roadshow

These seniors are from the tech era of wavs and MP3s. They've never popped in a groovy 8-track or spun a K-Tel LP.

"An 8-track?" Jamie wondered, when questioned about the old tape format. "It has a holder."

"I've heard my mom talking about an 8-track," Meredith said.

"It's long and usually has bright colors," Rick said.

"I've seen an 8-track on Antiques Roadshow," Toby said.

Mysteries of Pong

When it comes to old-school gaming, a few are similarly in the dark. Some are not even in the right ballpark.

"Atari?" Meredith said. "I have no idea what Atari is."

"A-what?" Erin asked.

X-box and Game Cube have replaced simple Pong. But not knowing this? Come on — that's just wrong.

"I don't know what Pong is," Amber confessed, her face reddening.

"Ping-Pong," Meredith said.

"I think Pong is the first video game ever," guessed Toby, on the right track.

"You have two paddles and the ball goes across," Daniel said.

"It was like 'ding-dong,'" Toby said, mimicing the sound of the game.

"Beek! Beek!" said Daniel, positioning his arms like paddles.

"Boing! Boing!" Rick said.

Where’s the Answer?

What about commercials? Let's play fill in the blank of famous ads in our common memory bank.

Where's the …?, they were asked — as in, "Where's the beef?"

Jamie just grinned sheepishly.

"… Party?" Meredith guessed.

"Where's … the … party … at?" Amber said haltingly, before succumbing to laughter.

Fair is fair: The seniors knew this next one real well. But how could you forget the time granny tripped and fell?

Help, I've fallen …

"… And I can't get up," Jamie said, correctly.

Meredith, Daniel and Erin got it right, too.


The last question was sort of silly, we admit quite candidly: Could the class identify Mad magazine's Newman, Alfred E.?

"Alfred E. Newman?" Toby wondered.

"Newman, Newman, Newman," Rick said, casting his gaze downward and wracking his brain.

"I think he invented something," Megan said.

"He did something with technology," Amber said, getting no warmer.

Daniel and Erin offered blank stares.

"He was an entrepreneur in Columbus," Toby said. "Maybe a financial trend-setter."

Congratulations, seniors. You aced the tests, mastered the golden rule. But you might want to take a crash course on becoming more old school.

This piece is based on a report by Jim Altman, a reporter for ABCNEWS affiliate WSYX-TV in Columbus, Ohio.