Rob Kozlowski

Rob Kozlowski is a Chicago-based writer who teaches in the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College. He taught comedy writing for 14 years at Second City Training Center.

Posts by Rob Kozlowski

Steve Martin

Steve Martin Is the Renaissance Person of Our Time

Steve Martin’s restless spirit keeps him going. Steve Martin is a prime example of how to live a full, rich, creative life. The very definition of a renaissance person, to this day he continues to pursue his artistry in an impressive array of forms. On August 14, 2018, he celebrates his 73rd birthday and shows no signs of slowing down, currently touring with Martin Short to present An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest        …read more


How Hiroshima and Nagasaki Created Godzilla

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki haunt every Godzilla movie. In the middle of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film Godzilla, we cut to a woman on a commuter train. She’s talking with a fellow passenger following a recent attack by the legendary monster. “This is awful,” she says. “Atomic tuna, radioactive fallout, and now this Godzilla to top it off! What if it shows up in Tokyo Bay?” The fellow passenger jokes, “It’ll probably go        …read more

Princess Bride

Top 5 Films by William Goldman, Screenwriter of 'The Princess Bride'

Goldman, author and screenwriter of ‘The Princess Bride,’ has long been the dean of American screenwriters. “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!” There is no more ultimate tribute to a screenwriter than a single line of dialogue that just about everyone recognizes. This line, of course, is spoken by Mandy Patinkin, over and over and over again, in The Princess Bride (1987), and it was written by William        …read more

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong: How 'Ambassador Satch' Changed Music Forever

The influence of Louis Armstrong will always be heard in popular music. He may be primarily known almost half a century after his death as the gravel-voiced singer of the sentimental favorite “What a Wonderful World,” singing of trees of green and skies of blue in the song that’s been featured in advertising and movies for decades, but Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong is much more than just a posthumous hawker of products. He was one of        …read more

Robin Williams

Robin Williams' Best Stand-Up through the Years

On his birthday July 21, the world remembers the extraordinary impact of Robin Williams (1951-2014) on comedy and the larger entertainment world. While he’s as known for his dramatic roles in movies, such as Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting, as for his comic turns in movies like Good Morning Vietnam, it’s as a stand-up comic that Robin Williams first came to prominence in the 1970s with his free-wheeling, manic, improvisational style. After graduating        …read more

The Good Place

Why 'The Good Place' Is the Best Show on Television

‘The Good Place’ redefines the sitcom with its journey into moral quandaries. In 2017, 487 original scripted television series aired, according to FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. This is up from 182 series just 15 years earlier, in 2002. Thanks to the emergence of online services like Netflix and Hulu and the growth of original programming in that time by basic cable services like FX, the demand for original ideas is staggeringly high. Somehow in        …read more

arts and crafts shows

8 Best Arts and Crafts Shows across the U.S.

This summer, head out to one of these arts and crafts shows to get your hands on the works of indie makers near you. Founded in 2005, Etsy provides a wealth of handmade items from individuals selling their wares, including art, clothing, bath-and-body products, baby items, home goods, accessories and more. As online shopping has grown over the last 20 years into a billion-dollar industry, champions have often hailed sites like Etsy as a revolutionary        …read more

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker: Entertainer, War Hero, Civil Rights Champion

It’s time to rediscover Josephine Baker, the world-famous entertainer who stood for equality. One of the most significant entertainers of the 20th century, Josephine Baker isn’t as recognized as she should be today, partly because it’s not easy to access the few films she appeared in. It is, however, time to rediscover her, as so many lessons learned from her life are at risk of being forgotten. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on June 3,        …read more

Audrey Hepburn movies

5 Must-See Audrey Hepburn Movies

These Audrey Hepburn movies make it abundantly clear why she’s a legend. When legendary fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy died at 91 on March 10, the photos that accompanied his obituaries featured Audrey Hepburn, his most devoted famous fan, who wore his clothes by special request in her movies. Here was a man who’d spent decades in the fashion industry, and he was most famous for dressing one specific woman. Audrey Hepburn, fashion icon, humanitarian,        …read more


Garlic Is More Than the Best Food Ever — It’s the Stuff of Legends

Myths and legends for National Garlic Day. National Garlic Day is April 19, and you might wonder why you’re not getting the day off from work to honor what Merriam-Webster calls “a European allium (Allium sativum) widely cultivated for its pungent compound bulbs much used in cookery.” Allium is “any of a large genus (Allium) of bulbous herbs of the lily family including the onion, garlic, chive, leek, and shallot.” If you didn’t know garlic        …read more

Wes Anderson movies

5 Wes Anderson Movies to Watch ahead of 'Isle of Dogs'

Your guide to understanding Wes Anderson movies. After an interminable four-year wait, the new Wes Anderson movie is here at last: Isle of Dogs, Anderson’s ninth film and second stop-motion animated effort, releases March 23. It’s been 22 years since Anderson’s feature debut Bottle Rocket, and in the years since, he’s become an indie film institution. With an aesthetic that even the most untrained viewer of cinema can spot 100 miles away, Anderson has        …read more

Oscar blunder

7 Worst Oscar Blunders of All Time

They’re back! On March 4, the 90th Academy Awards are here to frustrate us again with undeserving winners. I distinctly remember watching the Oscars in early 1983 and crying when Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi won Best Picture over Steven Spielberg’s E.T. I was a sad, bitter 11-year-old. I had no Twitter to amplify my angst to an unsuspecting world about this obvious Oscar blunder, but the sour taste of defeat still resonates 35 years later. Hollywood        …read more

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison Was a Terrible Man

Genius inventor Thomas Edison was also a genius at being awful. Among the many contradictions that make up the United States of America, one that resonates throughout the lives of nearly everyone is that many of the wonderful toys we get to use can be directly traced to a terrible man. Thomas Edison, whose birthday we commemorate on February 11, was, in fact, terrible. Long celebrated as an American hero for his genius in inventing        …read more

Tarzan movies

100 Years of Tarzan Movies

Based on a literary relic of the early 20th century, Tarzan movies keep coming back. January marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tarzan of the Apes, the first of many Tarzan movies that would be produced over the next century. Tarzan. The name brings up images of a loincloth-adorned, super-cut athlete, swinging through the jungle on conveniently placed vines. With his mate, the formerly civilized Jane, and his chimpanzee friend Cheeta by his        …read more

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin the Satirist

Charlie Chaplin’s films remain timely 100 years later. One hundred years ago Charlie Chaplin, a wealthy comedian, brought the plight of poverty and the struggle of immigrants to the world stage with two masterful short comedies, Easy Street and The Immigrant (both released in 1917). Technically primitive by today’s standards — black-and-white, silent, displaying a theatrical artificiality — these films are masterpieces of the kind of social satire told from the perspective of the downtrodden        …read more

Get Out

‘Get Out’ Is the Best Picture of 2017, and Here’s Why

Satire is hard, and ‘Get Out’ gets it right. Danger: Spoilers lie within! Get Out, Jordan Peele’s feature film debut as a writer and director, was the best picture of 2017. I say this without having seen every picture in 2017, so while this technically should disqualify my opinion, let’s take a look at why I’m right. Every critic does it anyway. First, what does “best” mean? “Best” is not just a subjective judgment of the        …read more