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50 Things Millennials Have Never Heard Of

Millennials are socially progressive and digitally savvy, but here are 50 cultural artifacts that leave them clueless

In the current issue of Rolling Stone, contributing editor Jon Dolan breaks down a new millennials poll from the magazine and Pivot, as well as some other polling numbers, in an effort to discern fact from fiction about the much-maligned generation. The results are both surprising (64 percent of millennials described themselves as more materialistic than their parents) and encouraging (roughly 50 percent of them voted in 2012). The conventional wisdom might be that millennials are self-involved and tech-addicted, but they’re also much more liberal than even Gen X on all sorts of cultural issues. Broadly speaking, the kids are alright. But even the savviest millennial is likely clueless about the 50 people, cultural artifacts, pieces of technology, and other ephemera collected here. These things seemed important once. How times change.

(For some perspective from the other side of the generation gap, make sure to read our list of 50 Things Millennials Know That Gen-Xers Don’t.)

Robin Leach Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’

This syndicated TV series, which ran from 1984 to 1995, featured oily Aussie host Robin Leach leading viewers on tours of the gaudy manses of business moguls and celebrities. Pre-Cribs, the show presaged our current all-access obsession with the privates lives of the one percent, though Leach’s signature sign-off, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams”(delivered in his snooty accent), seems embarrassingly tin-eared in these more economically troubled days.

Clyde Drexler

Clyde Drexler

NBA icon Clyde Drexler didn't have the flashy personality of Charley Barkley, the endorsement deals of Michael Jordan, the huge ego of Magic Johnson or the tear-jerking backstory of Larry Bird. He was simply Clyde the Glide, a key member of the 1992 Dream Team who lead the 1995 Houston Rockets to an NBA Championship. He's a color commentator for Rockers home games today and, unlike Sir Charles, nobody is asking him to host Saturday Night Live these days.

Scott Valentine Nick Moore Family Ties

Nick From ‘Family Ties’

Sometimes a sitcom character comes around that's only meant to last for a few episodes, but the public falls instantly in love with him and he's upgraded to regular cast member. Inevitably, it's someone with a loud personality and some sort of schtick. That's pretty much the story of Nick Moore on Family Ties. Played by Scott Valentine, he was the leather jacket/earring-rocking boyfriend of Mallory Keaton, played by Justine Bateman. He was monosyllabic and the nightmare of her father, but America loved him, though his 1987 spinoff  The Art of Being Nick was extremely short-lived. The Nick Moore experience was like eating a giant bag of marshmallows for dinner. Some things are better in small doses. 

Corin Nemec

Corin Nemec

For many millennials, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is about as old a movie as they're likely to watch. Well, imagine an early-1990s TV Ferris Bueller with crazy shirts, gelled hair, near-magical powers and a nerdy sidekick. This was the main character from Parker Lewis Can't Lose, a goofy high school show that's been widely forgotten by everybody that wasn't ten years old in 1991. Nemec was in a near-fatal boating accident earlier this year, but he recovered. 

Lauren Holly

Lauren Holly

Holly scored key roles on highly regarded efforts like CBS' Picket Fences (1992-96), the lovely ensemble comedy Beautiful Girls (1996), and hits like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993). But it was the actress's relationship with Jim Carrey, her co-star in 1994's Dumb & Dumber, in which the two shared an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, that made her a brief tabloid fixation. Holly and Carey were married from 1996 to 1997.

Gunnar Nelson Matthew Nelson

Nelson

Blessed with long flowing golden locks and their father's teen idol looks, Ricky Nelson's teenage sons Gunnar and Matthew Nelson had a monster debut LP in 1990 with After the Rain. Their two hits "After The Rain" and "(Can't Live Without You) Love and Affection" are actually pretty great, but soon grunge hit and they seemed hopelessly dated just one year after they were hot new thing. Today they tour the country with a musical tribute to their father. 

Bushwick Bill

Bushwick Bill

As a member of the Geto Boys, the 3'8" Jamaica-born Bushwick Bill helped usher in the era of Dirty South hip-hop. He shot out one of his eyes during an altercation with his girlfriend, but they used that to their advantage by putting him on the cover of their 1991 LP We Can't Be Stopped getting wheeled around hospital on a bed. The incident led to lots of press and the highest sales of their career. He became a born-again Christian in 2006, though four years after that he was busted with coke. 

Judge Reinhold

Judge Reinhold

Few young actors had a better 1980s than Judge Reinhold. He was in Stripes, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Beverly Hills Cop and even the criminally underrated father-son mind transfer comedy Vice Versa. He was every bit as famous as Tom Hanks, until the 1990s hit him like a ton of bricks. He's spent the last two decades in direct-to-video purgatory as he prays for the long-rumored Beverly Hills Cop IV.