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It all started with a seemingly innocent Facebook post on a Saturday night by our own Katie Snyder: “Just found out Mark Wahlberg used to be a rapper!”

On Monday, our entire staff gathered in our regular weekly meeting, looking at Katie as if she was an alien from a planet with no pop culture.

“You were joking, right?” I hopefully asked her.

“And you know about his Calvin Klein’s, right?” quizzed Abbie.

But here is the thing – Katie honestly neither knew about Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch NOR Wahlberg’s now-infamous Calvin Klein modeling days! She didn’t even know Wahlberg’s brother, Donnie, was a member of New Kids on the Block.

My mind = blown.

As I started questioning if I wanted to live in a world where people only thought of Marky Mark as a respected actor, something occurred to me…what if I had been sending my pop culture-laden story pitches to reporters that were of a different generation?

What if some of my stories weren’t being picked up because those reading my ideas were from generations both older and younger than mine and my sensibilities?

My mind = blown².

Thankfully, I re-gained my story pitching confidence by remembering when I was 23 and started at HMA myself.

You could have knocked me over with a feather then I learned that Donny Osmond, aka “that guy who was mean to Rosie O’Donnell on her talk show with the sister that was always in Star Magazine for plastic surgery,” was a full-fledged teen idol and award-winning singer, for whom Abbie still pines.

My mind = blown³.

So, this got me to thinking – what was your mind-blowing pop culture moment? Share your story of when you found out someone you thought of in a very specific way (aka Mark Wahlberg = respected actor), was a pop culture phenomenon in a totally different light to an entire generation (Mark Wahlberg = Marky Mark underpants model)?

I’ll get you started:

  • My sister, Erica, was 12 when Ace Ventura came out on video. After a summer of watching the Jim Carey gem, she ran into my parents’ room to share some big news…she reported that the actor who played the Miami Dolphins quarterback in the movie was a REAL football player in REAL life, too! In case you don’t remember, that was Dan Marino (one of the most famous football players of all time). She was crushed that they had “already heard about him.”
  • Similarly, after There’s Something About Mary came out, Green Bay Packer fan Scott was floored at the number of people who would take pride in telling them that the actor who played Mary’s boyfriend “Brett” was, in fact, Green Bay Packer Brett Favre.
  • Abbie noted that many in her generation and younger were floored to learn that President Ronald Regan was a legitimate actor before getting into politics.

Okay, you know you have one…spill it!

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio


  1. Kelly Potts says:

    I was shocked when I learned my beloved Leonard from Big Bang Theory is Russ in Christmas Vacation! My mom thought I was crazy when I came to her with my ‘breaking news’,

  2. Scott Hanson says:

    Damian Miller, who played on the Diamondbacks World Series team, looks just like Mark Wahlberg. So much so, that at D-Backs Fantasy Camp this year, the team he skippered (my team) was called The Funky Bunch. Everyone on the team knew who that was — which tells you something about the age of the players.

  3. Stephanie Lough says:

    Ages in the 80s/early 90s aside, have you never seen an episode of V1h1 I love the 80s or 90s, Katie?!?!? You are misrepresenting us millennials!!

  4. Who remembers that RuPaul, the reality TV drag queen superstar, used to be the spokeswoman for WebEx in the 90’s? Moi! Cheers, David

  5. Katie says:

    Steph, I never caught on to the VH1 TV show craze. It was all about MTV!

    Plus, I didn’t have time for that. I was too busy crushing on boy bands and pretending I was one of the Spice Girls.

    I will say the Mark Wahlberg who produced Entourage and played in Ted, is pretty cool.

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