More Americans know who Harry Potter is than Tony Blair, according to a survey commissioned by producers of an online game show based on modern pop culture.
Harry Potter's fame has spread wider than Tony Blair's
Of the 1,213 US citizens questioned by polling firm Zogby International, 57% knew of JK Rowling's boy wizard.
That compares with the 49.5% who could name Tony Blair as the British prime minister when asked.
Organisers insist the aim of the poll was to gauge how effectively popular culture information is disseminated.
"These results are not about how 'dumb' Americans are, but about how much more effectively popular culture information is communicated," said Professor Robert Thompson of the Bleier Centre for Television and Popular Culture in Syracuse, New York.
According to pollsters, the findings suggest Americans have a more detailed knowledge of The Simpsons than they do of classical literature and are more aware of Superman's home planet than those in our own solar system.
Six out of ten people surveyed knew Homer Simpson's son was named Bart. Asked to name one of Homer's epic Greek poems, however, only a fifth could name either The Odyssey or The Iliad.
Sixty per cent of the respondents knew Superman hails from Krypton, meanwhile, compared to the 37% who knew the closest planet to the sun was Mercury.
There was a similar disparity between the 74% who could name the three members of comedy act the Three Stooges - Larry, Curly and Moe - and the 42% who could correctly name the three branches of the US government - judicial, executive and legislative.
The survey was commissioned to publicise Gold Rush, an "interactive reality game" hosted by the AOL website.