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Longtime journalist Nick Zaino interviews the people who create what he loves -- comedy, horror, and music on this weekly podcast. Plus a featured song or comedy routine on every episode! Visit the blog at

Longtime journalist Nick Zaino interviews the people who create what he loves -- comedy, horror, and music on this weekly podcast. Plus a featured song or comedy routine on every episode! Visit the blog at
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Longtime journalist Nick Zaino interviews the people who create what he loves -- comedy, horror, and music on this weekly podcast. Plus a featured song or comedy routine on every episode! Visit the blog at








DoT Minicast: Broken Lizard in Boston on Super Troopers 2

Two weeks ago, the guys from Broken Lizard came to Boston to hand out doughnuts and coffee to a bunch of appreciative fans to promote their new movie, Super Troopers 2, which is out this Friday, April 20. The guys were there for nearly two hours, taking pictures with fans and signing everything from DVDs and beat up old VHS copies of the original film to baseballs and bottles of maple syrup. When that was winding down, I got to speak with Erik Stolhanske and Steve Lemme about the sequel, and...


DoT Podcast EP57: Mole Man Doc Director Guy Fiorita with Audiobook Excerpt from The Shape of Water

Back in March, I saw this great film at the Salem Film Festival. The festival focuses on documentaries, and the film is Mole Man, directed by Fiorita, who was in attendance. What I thought I was going to see was a quirky portrait of a 66-year-old man in Western Pennsylvania who has built this labyrinthine complex in the woods behind his parents’ house. And that’s where the film begins – we see Ron salvaging things from abandoned houses, picking through things that got left behind, and piling...


DoT Podcast EP56: Comedian and TV Guidance Counselor Host Ken Reid plus New Music from Kassin

This week’s guest is stand-up comedian and host of the TV Guidance Counselor podcast Ken Reid, someone I have known for years in the Boston scene and whom I’ve covered occasionally for the Boston Globe. Reid is a good friend to have if you enjoy horror or comedy in film or television. On TV Guidance Counselor, he gives his guests a copy of TV Guide from their childhood and hashes out what they would have watched that particular week. Chances are, Reid has seen whatever show or movie his...


DoT Podcast EP55: Hadron Gospel Hour's Rich Wentworth plus New Music from Courtney Marie Andrews

This week’s episode is a conversation with podcast host/artist/musician Rich Wentworth. He is co-creator of the Hadron Gospel Hour podcast, a serialized sci-fi/comedy show about the adventures of a scientist who accidentally blows up the multiverse working on a way to weaponize the Hadron Collider. He and his partner Mike, played by co-creator Michael McQuilkin, jump in and out of the rift to visit different timelines and occasionally do battle with evil. The podcast also features sketch...


DoT Podcast EP54: Comedian Jess Salomon plus an Excerpt from Laurie Kilmartin's Audiobook Dead People Suck

I was very happy how this interview came together. Some of you may know I have covered the comedy beat for the Boston Globe for the past seventeen years or so, and one of the best parts about that job is coming across someone who is really funny and maybe just coming into their full voice, and you’ve never heard them before. A few weeks before this interview, I had not heard of Jess Salomon. She has been through Boston, having gone to college at Tufts, but didn’t start doing comedy until...


DoT Podcast EP53 Comedian Jenny Zigrino and Guest Co-Host Jessie Baade with New Music from Matt Minigell

Jenny Zigrino is still very much a comic on the rise. In the past two years, she has played notable roles in films like Bad Santa 2 and Fifty Shades of Black. Last year, she released her debut album, JZ’s New Album, had her own Comedy Central Half Hour, and co-hosted an IFC digital series called The Filling Is Mutual with Jen Saunderson. In 2018, she’s already appeared on Live from Here (formerly Prairie Home Companion) and has a Web series debuting in March for Comedy Central called Bad...


DoT Podcast EP52 Folk Duo The Lowest Pair with New Comedy From Paige Weldon

Two performers. Two microphones. Banjo and acoustic guitar. The Lowest Pair are about as elemental an act as you’ll see onstage. You can hear that approach on their album, up to and including the two releases from 2016, Uncertain As It Is Uneven and Fern Girl. I sat down with Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee last year when they played Cinema Salem, and barely got time to establish the conversation before we were off on a tangent about the soundtrack to Get Out and how it worked with the...


DoT Podcast EP51: Inventor and Philosopher Dr. Robert Doyle Part II with New Music from Ruby Boots

Welcome to the extra-tangenty 51st episode anniversary of the Department of Tangents Podcast, my interview with inventor and Information Philosopher Dr. Robert Doyle, with new music from Ruby Boots. This interview came about it a strange way. For years I have been trying to explain to people my favorite board game as a kid, Stop Thief. It had a regular cardboard square with a cartoon grid on it, and your job was to find the thief, who was still actively moving around the different stores...


DoT Podcast EP50: Inventor and Philosopher Dr. Robert Doyle with New Music from Barrence Whitfield and the Savages!

Welcome to the extra-tangenty 50th episode anniversary of the Department of Tangents Podcast! This episode came about it a strange way. For years I have been trying to explain to people my favorite board game as a kid, Stop Thief. It had a regular cardboard square with a cartoon grid on it, and your job was to find the thief, who was still actively moving around the different stores and the outside on the street. What was different about Stop Thief was that it had a handheld scanner giving...



I first became aware of Matt York’s music when he released his Americana album Boston, Texas in 2016. I also write and play music, and we had a few friends in common. We played on a couple of bills together, and I got to know a bit more of his history, how he had been part of Boston’s rock scene years before and had quit for a while until he got the bug again. He released a new album, Behind the Bars, in 2017, and it felt like a good time to catch up and explore that history on the...


DoT Podcast EP48 Christopher Titus with New Music from Matt York

When I first spoke with Christopher Titus, he was coming through a turning point in his career. It was around 1997 or ’98, and he was playing the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Buffalo, NY, where I was writing for the Buffalo News. Titus had been staging a show called Norman Rockwell Is Bleeding at theaters in Los Angeles, and he was trying to make it work in comedy clubs. It impressed me not just because it was funny, but because he wasn’t afraid to talk about a lot of heavy topics, to let the...


DoT Podcast EP47: Glenn Page from The Len Pric 3 and New Comedy from Tommy Ryman

I first heard The Len Price 3 years ago on a Christmas compilation Little Steven put together for his Underground Garage show. When I spoke with Steven about the album, it was clear he was a big fan of the band, which is more than enough of an endorsement for anyone who loves rock and roll. I was thrilled when I got the advance of their new album, Kentish Longtails, which came out in September of 2017. The first thing that hits you about the album is the loud, brash mashup of classic...


DoT Podcast EP46 Boston Comic Con 2017 Part II

This is Part II of the Boston Comic Con 2017 edition of the DoT podcast. It’s the last podcast of the year, and the last batch of interviews with artists and creators done on the floor of Boston Comic Con back in August. We start with Sam Furst, proprietor of Monsters Are Good, a pop-culture apparel company specializing in horror-related characters. Then author and illustrator EJ Barnes, who left a lucrative career to pursue her art and to write comics, LB Lee of Mental Health comics and...


DoT Podcast EP45: Boston Comic Con 2017

You’ve heard of Christmas in July? This is more like July in Christmas. Or August in Christmas. This is kind of a lost episode, in that I had meant to publish it much earlier, but it kept getting bumped for interviews I felt needed to get out there first. I gathered a bunch of interviews with artists, writers, and creators at Boston Comic Con in August, and this is Part I of a two-part series. I spoke with Gordin McAlpin, creator of the Multiplex Web comic, Michael Denison of the Bea...


DoT Podcast: Halloween Fiction Special - "Walter's Friends"

Happy Halloween! Welcome to the Halloween Fiction Special of the Department of Tangents Podcast. In this episode, I read my short horror story "Walter's Friends," originally published in One Buck Horror: Volume Four. I have been a freelance writer for twenty years, but only started pursuing fiction around 2010. Horror fiction, and zombie fiction, in particular, which I developed a taste for after researching a story that never ran on the continuing popularity of that subset. "Walter's...


DoT Podcast EP44: Lonely Troubadour David Ramirez Gets Some Company on the Road, New Comedy from Dana Gould, and New Release Roundup

For the past several years, David Ramirez has been traveling around the country with an acoustic guitar, pouring his heart into his fine, passionate tunes. He’s mostly been doing that alone, with no band to back him, while the arrangements on his albums have grown both more subtle and more expansive. On his new album, We’re Not Going Anywhere, the follow-up to his 2015 breakthrough Fables, his sound has taken another new turn. Ramirez is backed by a full band, and brings in earthy-sounding...


DoT Podcast EP43 Grady Hendrix on Paperbacks from Hell, plus New Music from Hound

When I first scheduled this interview with author Grady Hendrix, I was expecting him to be much more tongue-in-cheek about the subject of horror in print. He had named his book “Paperbacks from Hell,” and started his history of horror novels with The Little People and its unique creation, Gestopochauns – Nazi leprechauns. Plus, he has so much fun describing the outlandish plots of some of these books. Take, for example, this gem, in which he describes Jeffrey Konvitz’s The Sentinel: Young...


DoT Podcast EP42: Ian McDonald Talks About Some Freaks, Plus New Comedy from Sean Sullivan

Writer/Director Ian McDonald has seen a lot of coming of age films, so when he decided to make his own, he had a few critiques and corrections. Some Freaks a story of changing relationships, the strain of feeling different from everyone around you, and ultimately doing what you need to grow. When Matt first meets Jill, he doesn’t make a great impression. He and his friend Elmo are playing video games and making bad jokes, as high school boys are wont to do. Jill overhears Matt make a fat...


DoT Podcast EP41: Corin Ashley On Broken Biscuits and Stroke Recovery, plus New Comedy from Fern Brady

Corin Ashley was in the middle of recording his powerful new rock and roll album Broken Biscuits in January of 2016 when his plans were derailed by a stroke. He was at the gym, feeling a bit numb, with a grey band obstructing his vision. That began what would be a nightmare scenario for anyone, much less a musician in the middle of a project. With the help of medical specialists and a voice coach, Ashley had to learn how to sing and play all over again. What used to be instinctual became...


DoT Podcast EP40: The Near Genius of Nate Dern plus New Music from Corin Ashley

When I started reading Nate Dern’s new book, Not Quite A Genius, I was expecting a collection of comic personal essays, that being a popular format at the moment. I got that in pieces about being a minor reality television star and hipster vegetarianism, but I also got strange stories about insomnia and dream killers, a piece about the lifespan about a computer becoming self-aware and having an immediate existential crisis. Some of them are silly, some of them are political and pointed at...


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