It’s All About Me…or Patton Oswalt

One of the things I enjoy most is interviewing people, as I do during spring and fall semesters at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Rarely does anyone turn the table on me, but when Cheri Steinkellner invited me to be a guest in her class, at the University of California Santa Barbara, I couldn’t say no. I’ve known Cheri and her husband Bill since I moved to Los Angeles, when I first saw them do Instaplay with their improv comedy troupe. They went on to become successful comedy writers and producers on television and Broadway, with Emmy awards to their credit for their work on Cheers.

Cheri’s weekly class at UCSB introduces a large group of students to creative people from all aspects of show business and the world of communications, and as I learned, Cheri is a skillful interviewer. Her recent guests have included Disney studio chief Alan Horn, Fox executive Elizabeth Gabler, former studio head and independent producer Roger Birnbaum, Modern Family producer Dan O’Shannon, casting director Marci Liroff, writer-producer-blogger-bon vivant Mark Evanier, actress Laraine Newman and screenwriter Ed Solomon, to name a few.

The school has posted a video link of our entire two-hour conversation. If you have any interest in my background and experiences, we covered a lot of ground. Simply click HERE.

Courtesy of AMPAS

Courtesy of AMPAS

If you have no such interest, let me recommend another, much shorter, piece: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has begun producing a series of videos, and this is my favorite so far. Comedian/actor Patton Oswalt is given the chance to choose any film from the vast Academy archive and screen a 35mm print for himself and a friend. If you’re curious about his choice, and want to vicariously experience a private screening at the New Beverly Theatre in Los Angeles, click HERE.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world’s most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely-used reference work Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin’s Classic Movie Guide, now in its third edition, as well as his thirty-year run on television’s Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel and Turner Classic Movies. His books include The 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast, and Leonard Maltin’s Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry, and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego’s Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He holds court at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook; you can also listen to him on his weekly podcast: Maltin on Movies. — [Artwork by Drew Friedman]

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May 2024