The survey by the Zogby International polling firm, found 77 percent of U.S. residents could name two of Snow White's dwarfs, whereas only 24 percent could name two Supreme Court justices.
It also found 60 percent knew Homer was the father of the Bart Simpson TV character, compared with 21 percent who could name either the Iliad or the Odyssey, written by Homer, the legendary poet of ancient Greece, Zogby said.
Fictional boy wizard Harry Potter beat British Prime Minister Tony Blair 57 to 50 in name recognition.
"These results are not about how 'dumb' Americans are, but about how much more effectively popular culture information is communicated" than information from government, educational institutions and the news media, said television Professor Robert Thompson of Syracuse University, a consultant on the poll.
The telephone poll, conducted for AOL and Mark Burnett Productions ahead of their online reality show "Gold Rush," surveyed 1,213 adults across the United States July 21-27. It has a margin error of 2.9 percentage points.