The Department of Tangents-logo

The Department of Tangents

Comedy Podcasts >

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
More Information


United States


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 PODCAST EP 63 Musician Mark Geary featuring "Don't Break"

Years ago, I reviewed Mark Geary’s album Ghosts for the sadly departed Boston Phoenix. I would pop that CD in my player on occasion, but fell out of touch with his music for a while. Then a couple of months before this interview, I got an instant message from Geary on Facebook that he’d be playing a few miles away. It was around two in the morning, but I got my tickets a few minutes later, and saw a fantastic show at a little place called The Carriage House in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It...


DoT Podcast EP 62: Jonathan Katz Talks Dr. Katz on Audible, plus New Music from

For this week’s episode, I sat down with Jonathan Katz in his home in Newton, Massachusetts to talk about his career in stand-up comedy and Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, his popular Comedy Central show which is now an audio series on Audible. Season Two of the new incarnation is coming up this summer, and Katz gives the complete rundown of new guests, plus a preview of what’s happening with Dr. Katz, his son Ben, played by H. Jon Benjamin, and his receptionist, Laura, played by Laura...


A DoT Minicast: An Interview Flashback with Lily Tomlin

Occasionally I dip back into the archives of comedians, musicians, and authors I’ve interviewed for the Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, or various other publications over the years and give you a few short bits of the recordings. This episode, it’s Lily Tomlin, whom I interviewed for the Globe in 2008 and 2013. Tomlin is a delightful person and a delightful performer. If you’ve never seen her live, make a point of it. If you can’t feel good about being a human being after you’ve seen...


DoT EP61: Emma Willmann Is Killing It, plus New Muist from Wajatta

This episode is a continuation of EP60 of the podcast in that I got to see Emma Willman perform a lot at this year’s Women In Comedy Festival, and caught up with her by phone shortly after to talk about the festival and everything she’s got going on. She was on the last season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and she’s waiting to hear about next season. She’s got a fifteen-minute Netflix special coming out on August 31. And a lot of her current momentum started with an appearance on The Late Show...


DoT Podcast EP60: Women In Comedy Festival Wrap Up plus New Music from The Smoking Flowers

The Women In Comedy Festival is one of my favorite annual events in Boston, and has been since its more humble beginning in 2009, when most of the shows were held in one venue, ImprovBoston. It has expanded in some way every year, and this year, they brought in some scouts all over the industry to see some of the amazing talent – 115 acts in all. I bounced around to different shows all five days of the festival, and tried to catch people at after parties or between venues. I got four on...


DoT Podcast EP59: 6 String Drag's Kenny Roby plus New Music from Domenico Lancellotti

Kenny Roby has been one of my favorite songwriters for the past twenty years, since I first interviewed him for a now defunct music magazine for the release of his excellent solo album, Mercury’s Blues. That led me to one of my all-time favorite albums, High Hat, by his then former band, 6 String Drag. There is so much soul and musical diversity in that album – Americana that wanders from New Orleans to Texas, a bit of punk, with a ton of swing and bounce. Roby continued that roving sound...


DoT Podcast EP58: Shape of Water Author Daniel Kraus plus New Music from 6 String Drag

Daniel Kraus has written a number of novels, including Rotters, a great horror novel I’m reading now. What puts him front and center right now is his work with Guillermo del Toro on the Oscar-winning story for The Shape of Water. Kraus had the idea years ago that he might want to do something about a love affair blossoming between a creature and an employee of a lab. He was already working with del Toro on the Trollhunters book, which became the series on Netflix. He mentioned the idea to...


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,...


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...


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...