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A pop-culture stroll down memory lane

October 23, 2005|Christine N. Ziemba

Surfing the site is a little like cleaning out your parents' attic: It's filled with weird and wonderful childhood memories.

Billing itself as "The World's Greatest Pop Culture Site," retro was created in 2001 by Sacramento resident Robert Berry, 36, who turned a few homemade print fanzines into the online collection of nostalgia it is today. The '60s, '70s and '80s are seemingly ingrained in Berry's being: "I love pop culture," he enthuses by phone.

Two months ago, Berry started offering podcasts (portable broadcasts from websites that can be saved on iPods or MP3 players) on his site.

Since gets nearly a half-million visitors a month, it's not surprising that the site already ranks among the top 50 podcasts on

Tune into Berry riffing on various topics -- from "The best scenes from 'The Blues Brothers' movie" to "Really bad TV themes, and where is my Kurt Vonnegut book?"

The latter episode includes tunes from shows like "Diver Dan" and a 1966 Rankin/Bass "King Kong" (which have to be two of the most obscure TV references heard in a while). is currently dressed up for Halloween, focusing content on its "greatest" lists. Past countdowns include the 100 Coolest Monsters and the 100 Scariest Movie Scenes of All Time. This year's list chronicles the 100 Greatest Horror Movie Performances. The site rolls out a few of the rankings each day.

Making the grade are Nastassja Kinski in "Cat People" at No. 97 and Yuya Ozeki in "Ju-On" and its American remake, "The Grudge," at No. 71.

But the best list is the photo collection of the World's Worst Halloween Costumes of All Time. What kid would want to wear the Gabe Kaplan mask and Sweat Hog smock from "Welcome Back, Kotter"? Ditto for the Chuck Barris, Chachi and Rubik's Cube masks.

The one costume that doesn't really belong on the list is the "Leather Guy" from the Village People. We could've sworn we saw a ton of those outfits in Hollywood recently -- and not on Halloween.

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