It’s time to take this relationship to the next level and introduce Maxine’s dates to her wider circle in the Phone a Friend Date ☎️

Maxine taps her big brother Marcus 👨 to ask each Caller some tough questions to see if they’re a match for his sister, and ultimately, tell her who he thinks she should hang up on.

Can the Callers pass the test? ⌛


Previously on Hang Up…

Sasha: I'm feeling mad vibes by the way.

Maxine got to spend some quality time with each of her Callers. They played games.

Charlie: And three points for Gryffindor.

Drank… a lot of alcohol.

Maxine: There are four High Noons in this container because you already know that I can party.

And dug deep.

Maxine: What about you feels hardest to love?

But in the end, Osprey got the hang up.

Maxine: There was a lot of bird talk.

And we asked our remaining callers if they'd rather take the vacation with Maxine...

Kai: I would definitely want to pursue things with Maxine.

Sasha: Fuck that money.

Or the cash prize.

Sabo: I would probably take the cash at this point.

Charlie: I think it would just be kinda easier on both of us if I took the money.

Welcome back to Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached.

I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

Here’s how the show works.

Every week, our Star Maxine goes on a themed date with each of her Callers. All of these dates happen exclusively over the phone.

The Star and her Callers never see each other and at first, can’t describe how they look.

And they all change their names so they can’t find each other outside of the show.

The Callers have only one date per week to make themselves heard.

And if they can’t establish a clear connection, they risk getting the hang up. Eliminating them from the show.

The Star hangs up on one Caller each week.

This week… four Callers remain: Sasha, Sabo, Kai, and Charlie

To stay on the line, they must win over Maxine. And in the end, the winning caller has a choice to make: an all expenses paid vacation with Maxine. Or hang up on her, and take a cash prize of one thousand dollars.

The theme of this week’s date is: Phone a Friend.

Maxine is dialing in someone else to take her place. They’ll go on their own date with each Caller… then, recommend who she should hang up on next.

Who will stay on the line? And whose connection will be dropped?

Maxine: Yeah I think, like he's probably next. It was honestly just like a coin toss between him and Osprey.

Find out this week on Hang Up.

Zakiya: Hi Maxine.

Maxine: Hi Zakiya

Zakiya: You don't know how excited I am to hear how your date went. Because at this point you've had two dates with the Callers and on this last date. It was their chance to curate a date to impress you. So let's hear who was dialed in and who phoned it in. Who do you want to start with?

Maxine: So Sasha

Maxine: I was trying to draw inspiration from somewhere.

Sasha: Ooh I see where you're going with this, I'm sorry to cut you off....

Maxine: Yeah so Maxine Shaw

Sasha: Hell yes

Maxine: Yes she's amazing, you know what I mean? Beautiful stylish, smart, a little erratic.

Sasha: Spicy. Everything. Yes, Yes I love all of that.

Sasha did well. It was like a cardboard box and in it, there was even, I noticed like in the bottom, she had put like, some sort of platform like a little bit to like, hold everything up. So it would be like the right height. I just appreciate these little things. There's like, a laminated instruction like about how we're going to play this card game she had included. There were four High Noons. I really like High Noons, they're my favorite seltzers.

Maxine: I feel like we vibed.

Zakiya: Ooh would you say that it was like, friend chemistry or romantic chemistry?

Maxine: I felt like, at least some friend chemistry and like, maybe a little bit of romantic chemistry.

Zakiya: Were y'all flirting at all?

Maxine: I feel like there was like a little bit of flirting.

Zakiya: Yes. Okay, let's move on. How was your date with Charlie?

Charlie: All these things are like things that I like to have at my house and that I like to have specifically for game nights or for company or just like late night snacking. Yes, I do have candy. Even though I'm a dentist, it is what it is. I like it. Leave me alone.

Maxine: Charlie was also he did well. I felt with the box too. So he had two High Noons in it

Zakiya: More High Noons.

Maxine: And a hand made version of I guess it's called Taboo. It was cool. That was also like fun we played. I like wasn't very good at it and even at the end he was like, hey Maxine like this. It's been like really fun and everything but like Honestly like I don't know about having you as a partner for like you know, playing these games like you really gonna have to step it up and I like appreciated that. Like even in this situation than we're in he was like down to like be a little silly and like razz me a bit, you know?

Zakiya: Yeah. That's a good sign. I feel like this group of people they’re all so kind and funny and their own way, but I know you like a little snark, you like to be roasted, you know, like a little playful back and forth. So that’s good. So, were there any yellow to red flags on this date?

Maxine: It was like a weird, offhanded thing. We were like, you know, we're going for points like in the Taboo game and then I liked told him how many points he had. Then he was like three points to Gryffindor and I was like, “Wait. Do you like like, Harry Potter?” And then he told me, it's like something he doesn't like, you know, that it's like, cool, like background noise or whatever. And he also mentioned that he was doing laundry like while we were talking. So then he was like, you know, like sometimes like when you're doing laundry and then I was like, “Were you watching Harry Potter before you got on the phone with me?” And he was like, “No.” Which like was funny like I did, you know, is it's hard to ascertain if he was joking.

Zakiya: He’s a closeted Harry Potter stan.

Maxine: But he does. He does like Harry Potter. That was real. That was part of it like that.

Zakiya: OK but I'm just flashing back to how you were like that shit's corny, I don't like that, I don't want that. And then he was like three points for Gryffindor like was there a part of you that cringe or that you're kind of like putting that in the back of your mind.

Maxine: I didn't love it. Certainly. Yeah. That wasn’t great. He didn't make it sound like it was like a giant deal to him but I guess time will tell. We're gonna meet and then he has like a big Harry Potter chest piece.

Zakiya: And then another thing that I have not forgotten. He's a gum chewer.

Maxine: Yeah.

Zakiya: So how do you feel about that he has two of your no goes?

Maxine: Yeah. There are some things happening with Charlie that aren't great. I admit he's on the list of like, you know, potential issues.

Zakiya: He's like lower on the list.

Maxine: Yeah.

Zakiya: OK so let's move on. How about Sabo?

Sabo: for the main event I love playing this game We're Not Really Strangers, so I put some cards in there, I know what they say but I figured I would leave it up to you to decide like which cards you want to pull and both of us could kind of talk about them.

Maxine: Sabo's date was also really good. There were like, little notes attached to everything cause they were describing, like, how they would want to do, kind of like a picnic kind of scenario, or like, you know, just like an outdoor thing cause that's like their favorite deal.

Zakiya: What did y'all talk about on this date?

Maxine: So they also included a game that's like it's called, We’re Not Really Strangers or something along those lines.

Maxine: The questions were like a little bit like emotionally inappropriate-- Like one of them was “What about you do you think is the hardest to about you to love?”

Zakiya: Oop, get into it.

Maxine: Yeah but it was a nice way to see how another person like thinks.

Zakiya: Yeah.

Maxine: And like where their like emotional intelligence is at.

Zakiya: Right. It sounds like you all talked about like deep things. Tell me about what it was like to share these deep life ideologies, with someone you haven't even met in person yet.

Maxine: Yeah, I think it was like super interesting. I'm always I haven't been in a polyamorous relationship before. I've had like, you know, casual relationships but I don't think it's like to the same capacity so it was interesting to talk to them about like how they feel about it and like some of the things they were saying so like, were just nice. Like, I, I think they were talking about at one point the idea of like being able to figure out how to love someone best, you know, you're not expecting like everything from one person. Which was dope. Like I think that's like, you know, an interesting facet that I haven't experienced

Zakiya: So it didn't feel like too much or too fast, it felt right to talk about these things?

Maxine: No cause I love to be like in appropriate on like early on to be like what happened between you and your ex and do you feel like someone was at fault? Like what were your parents like? Have you ever been to therapy? I want to get that stuff out of the way. I think it's like I'm just a good base cause some people are psychos.

Zakiya: You're like a direct communicator and it sounds like Sabo is not only a direct communicator. But is like willing to talk about the real shit and not skirt around the issue. So that's a really good sign for compatibility, that’s amazing.

Maxine: Yeah, I did, I did really enjoy talking to them. I liked our whole date and like, how they would like, set it up a lot and I thought it was very cool.

Zakiya: Okay, let's move on to Kai.

Kai: I really want to travel, I've actually never been out of the country, so I really do want to go, I just got my passport.

How was your date with Kai?

Maxine: [laughs]

Zakiya: Uh oh, the silence, um what does that mean?

Maxine: Kai was an adventure. He was like “Wo I figured, you know, I love traveling,” which is something he had mentioned before, it's definitely something I wrote and he was like, “I figured we could just like talk about our travel stories and like, you know, just be that could be the 30 minutes.” and I was like, “Okay, cool, so like not a big game plan right on.”

Zakiya: Yeah

Maxine: “But you know this guy must have liked been a lot of places.” And he was like , “So I actually just got my passport I haven't been out of the country yet,” and I was like, “okay, well, where have you been in the country?” And he was like, “I've been all up and down the East Coast.”

Zakiya: Huh.

Maxine: I don't have a great deal of travel stories. I've been places but you know nothing like extraordinary. So that was like pretty quick. Not 30 minutes.

Zakiya: Yeah, it sounds like he put all of his eggs into one tenuous basket.

Maxine: It just wasn't the vibes. Like this kid tried, but I didn't like it.

Zakiya: So you didn't like your date with Kai.

Maxine: No it wasn't good. It wasn't what I wanted from it.

Zakiya: Do you think he can redeem himself? Or are you like he's at the bottom of the list and he's going to have to work some magic to get back to the top?

Maxine: Yeah I think, like he's probably next it was honestly just like a coin toss between him and Osprey.

Zakiya: A coin toss. OK then let's talk about Osprey.

Osprey: I marked a couple birds in there. They're all just little profiles about if you know, we were to meet and you were to come with me birding sometime

How was your date with Osprey?

Maxine: So Osprey, The box smelled amazing, I just want to point out like immediately. I just felt like warm and like relaxed. And they also like included a little piece of orange cake that they had baked with a roommate. And then a couple books, one of which was like about birds and then they had like, earmarked some specific birds and then they like, just like talk to me about said birds. What's your reaction to the thing I just said?

Zakiya: Hmm OK my reaction is that that sounds like someone talking to you or at you about something they like but I'm wondering like how can you engage for it to be a back-and-forth conversation. And I'm like, does Maxine even fuck with birds like that? To be like yes let's talk about birds for a date, you know? So I'm I'm just based off of things in the package I'm questioning the compatibility.

Maxine: Yeah, I just you know, they talked about the birds and I just I don't even I'm not a person with like a great deal of hobbies. So I feel like if I'm going to be with someone who like has hobbies, which is likely, if they're just going to talk about something in excess it probably has to be something that I can at least be like a little bit interested in.

Zakiya: Right.

Maxine: And I like legit it like it was so like nice and soothing between like the smell and then I had just eaten like a piece of cake and like and then like they were just like talking about the birds like I like almost fell asleep and I was like that was cool but also just not you know that's not going anywhere, like when your hobbies make them sleepy, you know?

Zakiya: Right. Yeah. That is not a green flag.

Maxine: Yeah. It was like very nice and I appreciate it. And I was like, man, somebody who is kind of like, more on their wavelength. Like this is perfect, like for somebody but it's not me.

Zakiya: It's not you. So were you just acting like, you liked everything to be nice?

Maxine: Well, I like objectively respected and do respect how interested and Passionate they are about birds you know. But yeah beyond that like mostly just like yeah, you know, just listening and being polite.

Zakiya: Right. Well you seem like such a straightforward person, like with the gum chewing, you're like fuck gum chewing, spit that shit out of your mouth right the fuck now. So, with this date, why wouldn't you be honest and upfront? And be like, honestly, I'm not digging the bird talk.

Maxine: cuz I didn't know what else we would even talk about. I was like this person is so into birds and like, I don't know where we're going to go, and they're still so many minutes left. So I might as well, just have to finish up with this bird talk.

Zakiya: You felt pigeonholed. Because it's true. It's hard to vibe with someone who it's like, okay. This is what's on the agenda I guess. So now that you have like, a couple dates under your belt, have you developed any romantic feelings for anyone or at least the seedlings for romantic feelings for anyone?

Maxine: I think that it's like, on the table for Sasha and Sabo and like, maybe Charlie. But we'll see, you know, there's still, there’s still many weeks ahead.

Zakiya: Okay, so that means that Kai still has to prove himself.

Maxine: Yeah, but I am open to being surprised.

Zakiya: OK so let's get into the next date. So now we're at the point where your dates are going to the next level. The four remaining Callers are going to be introduced to your inner circle for the Phone a Friend date. Have you chosen which friend or family member you want them to talk to?

Maxine: I've chosen my brother.

Zakiya: Ooh okay. You both came up with a pseudonym for your brother, what are we calling your brother?

Maxine: He did, Marcus.

Zakiya: Great, Maxine and Marcus. So why did you choose your brother Marcus?

Maxine: We're very close and I, I genuinely think, like, my brother is one of the smartest people, I know. He's able to kind of like retract in a way where he can understand things like a little more logically whereas like I I am like pretty logical but I also like tend to get my emotions like invested pretty early and, will, you know, make excuses and stuff, but he'll just be like, no, like that's not right.

Zakiya: Oh wow what a great big brother.

Maxine: Yeah he’s a great guy, love him.

Zakiya: What has he thought about your past relationships and dating? Like does he tend to be approving or disapproving?

Maxine: So one time, I introduced Marcus to a guy I was dating and then the guy like went back to his truck to get something and then I was like, “So like what do you think?” and he was like, “Yeah, I mean, just like all the other ones.” and I was like “What do you mean by that?” And he was like, “Well you know like objectively hot but kind of like low-ceiling intelligence wise.”

Zakiya: Okay. Okay. Has he ever really liked someone you've dated?

Maxine: He really liked the worst guy I've ever dated.

Zakiya: Wait, twist. Why?

Maxine: They just bonded, they were really similar in age, This was like a really interesting period for me. So I had brain surgery a few years ago, so I was in the hospital for like 10 days and my now ex was there, he stayed in the hospital like all the nights with me and was like, there like all the time and one day Marcus and I were talking about him and I was talking about like our next steps and like, I was like taking care of him and it was a terrible relationship and I was like we're gonna have to find him a place to live and a new job and like all this stuff going on and on and Marcus was like, “Yeah, I just you know, I want you to really…” he like took a deep breath and he was like very like collected and he just like explained to me that he wanted me to focus on what I was going to do next and like how is going to take care of myself to the best of my ability and how I you know it maybe wasn't the wisest decision to be focusing on taking care of this like very able-bodied adult when I had just been through this like, very serious thing. But he did really like that guy.

Zakiya: He really liked this guy that you say was your worst relationship, how can you trust his opinion?

Maxine: Well because he was a huge manipulator and he was like very charismatic and you know, just like I like… for all the reasons that I loved him, you know who the Marcus like, really messed with him but also their interactions were like relatively limited. But that was the only one that he actually I think like liked like. Like he took one of my boyfriends to go play basketball with him and they kind of messed with each other until he did something that Marcus didn’t like, like in front of him.

Zakiya: What did he do that Marcus didn’t like?

Maxine: I was hanging out in Marcus’ apartment, and he was like texting me trying to get my attention, and I was like “Yo I’m like with my brother I can’t really be doing that with you right now.” So he like came by to like grab something and I think as he was leaving I went to go be friendly with him or something and then he like slapped my hand.

Zakiya: What?

Maxine: Yeah it wasn’t good. And obviously Marcus didn’t like it. And from then on it was kinda just like “whatever you wanna do is fine.”

Zakiya: Honestly I’m with Marcus, Maxine. Yeah now that I’m hearing all these stories, I’m like these boys sound like scrubs.

Maxine: Yeah I don’t think I’ve ever dated a good guy.

Zakiya: I don’t know all the Callers very well, but they sound like they’re different from the people you tend to date. After your brother talks to all the Callers he's going to tell you who he thinks you should hang up on but you don't have to take his advice. Do you think you will?

Maxine: I probably will.

Zakiya: What if like Kai and Marcus? Really hit it off. Like they have wonderful chemistry. And then Marcus is like, oh my God. Max, why the fuck are you going to hang up on Kai? Like, he's the homie. Would his advocating for Kai sway you or are you ultimately just going to go with your gut?

Maxine: No, I think it would sway me. I think that I will rely pretty heavily on Marcus's vote.

Zakiya: OK. So what if the reverse happens you're saying like Sabo and Sasha are at the top of your list what if Marcus comes back is like “Maxine, I hate Sabo,” then what would you do?

Maxine: Then maybe they're gone.

Zakiya: Oh my gosh. OK so Marcus could be a wildcard in this game, like Marcus could really switch everything up

Maxine: He could.

Zakiya: Any plans for this week while the Callers are sweating on the phone with your brother?

Maxine: I'm going to Vegas

Zakiya: Well have so much fun. you'll get the updates when you come back.

Maxine: Yeah thanks so much, I’ll talk to you when I get back.

Zakiya: After the break, Sasha, Sabo, Charlie, and Kai get grilled by Maxine’s big brother. Stay on the line!

Welcome back to Hang Up. Maxine’s big brother is just about to go on his own “date” with each of her Callers, but there will be less flirting in this round. At least I hope, for Maxine’s sake.

He’s going to ask each Caller some tough questions to see if they’re a match for his sister, and ultimately, he’ll tell Maxine who she should hang up on.

Let’s dial in to hear how the Callers handle the pressure.

Sasha: Hello

Sasha: Hi, I'm Sasha. How you doing?

Marcus: I'm good. I'm... I'm Marcus nice to meet you.

Sasha: Nice to meet you as well. So how do you know Maxine?

Marcus: I'm actually Maxine's brother.

Sasha: Oh snap, pressure's on.

Marcus: Okay. So I want to know a little bit about your relationship with optimism.

Sasha: I'm a chronic optimist, I have a problem. I'm telling you it's bad. It's like the walls can be caving in and I'm like it's okay. We will make it, it's okay.

Marcus: Why do you think you're like that?

Sasha: I had cancer when I was 21.

Marcus: Oh my god.

Sasha: So that was like a big blow like right when you're like, almost at your peak of adulthood, not adulthood, but your peak of adolescent adulthood. When you think you're the shit and life's going good and you're like, yeah, I can drink now and all that, I spent a lot of time rebuilding. Maybe that's a part of it too, like somebody tells you, “Hey, you got stage 3 and it's growing and you might not make it. Definitely can't have kids,” and here I am. Twelve years later.

Marcus: Oh my God. Twelve years ago. That's insane.

Sasha: Yeah so could be that.

Marcus: Seems reasonable. How do you see kinda like the next 10 years unfolding for you?

Sasha: Oh my gosh. No, you didn't. That is a hard question sir. I don't know how to answer that.

Marcus: That's what I'm here for. That's literally my only job here is to ask you hard questions.

Sasha: All right. All right. I see you. Okay. Yeah, I really honestly I, I hope to get a job that I like doing that pays me a shit ton of money and also I want to be able to say I've been outside of the country a few times in the next 10 years. I hope to at some point, find the love of my life. Maybe that's happening now, who knows? And yeah, just like make a place for myself if that makes any sense.

Marcus: For sure, yeah I feel that. Who's your favorite comedian?

Sasha: If you want me to run down a list I got you. Kathy Griffin, she's really funny, Lisa Lampanelli, she's hella funny.

Marcus: Wow, the OG. Oh man I can't believe you said Lisa Lampanelli that's so hilarious.

Sasha: Yeah no doubt.

Marcus: Sweet, well awesome. It was great talking to you, thanks for taking some time for me.

Sasha: Heck yeah, it was lovely to meet you Marcus.

Zakiya: Sounds like Marcus is coming for my job, asking those tough questions. Let’s see how he does with the next Caller.

Marcus: Hello.

Charlie: Hi How's it going?

Marcus: I'm Marcus.

Charlie: I'm Charlie.

Marcus: So, how's everything going? What you up to over there?

Charlie: Um just packing things for tomorrow for work.

Marcus: OK. That's pretty sweet.

Charlie: It's not, it's super duper lame.

Marcus: How often should do you work?

Charlie: My schedule's pretty regular. I do a nine-to-five basically. And then on occasions, I get calls. And it's usually just people with emergencies.

Marcus: Ooh fascinating

Charlie: You think so until you get enough of the calls. I'm a dentist, right? So there's not a crazy amount of things I could do on an emergency call.

Marcus: Nice, nice. So how are things that you mind, if I ask you how are things going with Maxine?

Charlie: Um they're pretty good, she's quick as a whip. Honestly, I do like our banter. Yeah, I think on this kind of dating program, I think, what I care about the most in someone specifically in this case Maxine is that I don't have too much of a tough time talking to her, she'll reciprocate kind of the flow of energy. So I think we got some weird inside jokes now, which is... she seems to think that I'm super into Harry Potter and I could care less man, I really could. But because she keeps pushing it, it's the hill I'm going to die on now.

Marcus: Oh, that's so funny. So what are you actually into?

Charlie: I like all different things, I'm just tapped out on the the superhero stuff. And so I've been actually doing a lot of, like, old movies.

Marcus: Oh cool like what?

Charlie: You know, I recently re-watched some Robin Robin Williams films like Patch Adams or what was that Vietnam one? Good Morning Vietnam. Movies like that. What do you typically watch? You got any good movie recs?

Marcus: I watch the superhero movies exclusively.

Charlie: I can't tell if you're fucking with me

Marcus: Nah I'm just messing around with you.

Charlie: "Yeah so you're gone."

Marcus: It's nice talking to you goodbye. That's so funny. Are you into comedy at all?

Charlie: Yes, love it, love it, love it. But I know that a lot of it has been causing a lot of controversy. So I'm very careful about what I say I do and don't like. Yeah very careful.

Marcus: It's dangerous territory. So who's your favorite comedian? That being said.

Charlie: You know what? I will say this I will say this and I think most comedians have a lot of controversy. I think Dave Chappelle is so good I think he is such a fantastic storyteller.

Marcus: Nice. Would you say you're you're an optimist? What's your relationship with optimism?

Charlie: I would say I am a realist bud.

Marcus: I love that a realist. So you take every situation for what it is? I guess I’m curious like what's your natural inclination, ya know? Is it, is it kind of to be pessimistic, to be optimistic. Like, how do you, how do you deal with just general adversity?

Charlie: Yeah. Alright this is like interview time. I love it. This is like job interview stuff. I have been very blessed just because I am not the smartest cookie out there, but I do think about things ahead of time. And I like to think about, you know, possible outcomes, scenarios, and all that stuff. And I don't think if it's good or bad. I mean, it is what it is right? But I do have a tough time dealing with things that kind of deviate from my plans. And, you know, that's something I'm working on is kind of “c'est la vie.”

Marcus: Nice, nice, that's a good answer. Well Charlie it was great talking to you.

Charlie: It was great talking to you and semi meeting you, man.

Zakiya: Dave Chappelle??? I wonder if Charlie’s as into him as he’s into JK Rowling… Let’s move on… and hear what our next Caller has to say.

Sabo: Alright hello

Marcus: How's it going?

Sabo: Great. How are you?

Marcus: I'm doing well thanks.

Sabo: Right on my name is Sabo. What's yours?

Marcus: Sabo, nice. I'm Marcus.

Sabo: Marcus. How do you know Maxine?

Marcus: I'm her brother.

Sabo: Her brother. Got the family involved. That's what's up. I almost asked like “how long you guys known each other?” Are you the older brother or younger brother?

Marcus: I'm older.

Sabo: Older? OK. Are y'all like very close? I would assume to some degree with this involvement.

Marcus: Yes we're very close, super close. What do you think of her so far?

Sabo: So far I think we've got some cool things in common like both being bartenders and all that I think there's just a very easygoing energy going on there so that's been pretty fun to explore. But I guess I'm curious to learn more about her through you though, I feel like as much content I think that I don't really have a whole lot. I was thinking OK what would really paint someone's picture in a way that makes sense to me. Like, would you describe Maxine as like an indoor cat an outdoor cat or an indoor dog or outdoor dog?

Marcus: Ooh that's good. I really I really like that. I'm going to go with indoor dog.

Sabo: Indoor dog. Interesting.

Marcus:. I like the way you phrased it because it reminds me of my dog which I kind of call like a or she actually she called him kind of like a stoner dog.

Sabo: A stoner dog.

Marcus: He's down for whatever. He's perfectly content to chill and watch TV all day. But he loves going out on walks, his favorite thing is still to go out on a walk.

Sabo: Of course.

Marcus: I would say that's her, she will be very content to chill but can also have a great deal of fun outside.

Sabo: Wow, great intel.

Marcus: What animal do you identify with?

Sabo: I think I'm definitely an outdoor dog. Like just being one of those farm dogs that it's just like, maybe I know where I live and I'm there but I'm also that dog that has like a double life chilling at the neighbor’s house. I get treats there too. The whole neighborhood knows about me and they're just like yelling “there's that dog” but I have no collar, independent free but would come inside, you know, for like storms etc, because who am I to turn down warmth and food? You know, all that good stuff.

Marcus: That's what's up. Who's your favorite comedian?

Sabo: My favorite comedian. Okay, that's easy. Have you ever heard of Sam Jay?

Marcus: No, who's that?

Sabo: You got to go check her out. She’s this like black queer lesbian who like has her own show on HBO, it's also rare for me to see like queer comedy so to see someone who would do it and just so spot on without even like no hesitation, not even like putting anyone down, but just saying it how it is has been the most refreshing like comedy person I've seen in a very long time.

Marcus: So would you describe yourself as optimistic?

Sabo: Oh absolutely. Probably to a fault. I do have to often check myself.

Marcus: Really? What does that look like? Do you have an example?

Sabo: For example I was driving I saw this billboard I was like yo Mega Millions 22 million. I was like holy shit, 22 million. I just had a dream the other night where this child in my dream told me the numbers 2002 holy shit maybe this is my time to shine and play the lottery. And I go to the Wawa and I go and I get it. Thinking like, “I'm gonna make this Wawa famous, it's gonna pop off,” I get the ticket it prints out it says oh the drawing's on April 22 for 2022, I'm like holy shit I gotta tell everyone it's about to go down, I'm so like mentally and physically feeling my stomach drop, I'm like “this is it, I've been waiting for this moment.” I'm talking about it for like three days and of course I didn't win. I would tell you if I did but no I didn't. But in that moment, I can get very caught up in like “holy shit, this is it.”

Marcus: I was um, this is going to be a bit of a tonal shift just a heads up that I was reading this article the other day and they were talking about how due to global warming and climate change, like a lot of animals are like being displaced from their regular habitats and are like moving closer and closer into human habitats, you know, basically. Which basically the point of the article was that there are gonna be like more pandemics. That being said, knowing that this is what the scientists are talking about. How do you remain optimistic knowing that's what happening in the world?

Sabo: Goddamn it. Maybe it's you know a cup of delusion in there. I don't know. I'm not really too worried about it. Not like cause I don't care but because I know that like whatever comes in the future, like I can't really worry about that. Like it's just what's in my face is what's in my face and I just trust that whatever I have got going on will continue to thrive and like I'll be ready for that when it comes.

Marcus: With that being said how would do you do with people that are a bit more naturally pessimistic like the way I am?

Sabo: Great question. I think that was also part of like what ended my last relationship. I feel like there's a line drawn where it's like you can be who you are and be pessimistic and all that stuff and I can be who I am over here and we can be best bros. But at the end of the day it's like managing your own spillage of those feelings and managing your own sense of self care as you're coping with those kinds of feelings. I think we all have our own sense of responsibility to be accountable for that kind of stuff, but I wouldn't say that it would be horribly incompatible, it would just be you know, some shifting waters we could figure out. For sure. Are you trying to suggest that Maxine is like that as well or just something that you kinda brought up that you identify with?

Marcus: I'm not suggesting anything.

Sabo: Wow, OK.

Marcus: I'm trying to get a lay of the land as far as how you navigate things.

Sabo: Right right.

Marcus: Are you into dating shows? Is this your first run in with them?

Sabo: Yeah actually. I mean I tried getting on like, it’s not my first try to get on, it’s always been super fascinated, I’ve gotten through the first or second round for some auditions and all that but nothing’s ever really like landed. This is definitely the first one that it’s coming into fruition and it’s very very silly that we’re all like doing this like wow this does feel like organic dating but it also does not of course, but it’s fun.

Marcus: Yeah that’s dope. Well, I'm good. Is there anything else you want to ask me?

Sabo: Yeah, actually yeah So how open is like your family to like sexuality in general and like with what your sister’s identifying as?

Marcus: Umm we're, they're all pretty. They're all pretty chill. Everyone's cool, we're a pretty non judgemental family. At least at least for something like that. You'll get judged but it's gonna be for something you fucking did but not for your sexuality or anything like that.

Sabo: You're right it's like don't be a dingus but yeah go ahead and be gay, gotchu heard.

Marcus: Yeah exactly, exactly. Sweet well it was great talking to you Sabo.

Sabo: Alright, take care.

Um, Sabo’s tryna get on other dating shows?? Sounds like this outdoor dog likes to roam. Let’s see if our next Caller will stick closer to home.

Marcus: Yo.

Kai: Hey, what's going on? I'm Kai.

Marcus: I’m Marcus.

Kai: Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. So, how long have you known Maxine?

Marcus: Pretty long. Basically… Yeah. Yeah, basically our whole lives.

Kai: Wow. So are y'all related or is she just like a close family friend?

Marcus: We are related. She's my sister.

Kai: Oh that's awesome. So do y'all do like a lot of stuff as a family like you see Maxine a lot or how often would you say you guys like kind of get together?

Marcus: I see her very often, I see her usually every week at this point.

Kai: Oh that’s awesome.

Marcus: Do you subscribe to a more kind of traditional outlook as far as family and stuff like is that something you're looking to build within the next, you know, decade, half decade or so or is that kind of not even on your mind right now?

Kai: I mean, it is on my mind by also at the same time. I'm definitely not one of those people that would rather force a situation just to go hit some goal or milestone that I've had my head. I much rather have it naturally accumulate with the right person to be what I want to do. That’s why I'm actually like switching jobs right now and getting like a remote job, so I can hopefully try to travel around a little bit. If not live somewhere, go and stay places. Obviously yes, I don't want to be 45, having kids or something like that but I'm open to having kids. I'm open to not having kids too. It kind of depends on being with the right person and find kind of what works for us.

Marcus: Sure. I feel that. Have you ever have you done any traveling with like your partner?

Kai: Yeah, I actually have. So my ex we did a lot, we were dating during the pandemic, just took it as an opportunity to kind of go travel and see a bunch of things it was like we went to DC a bunch, Florida, Alabama, Texas, all the beaches up and down the East Coast, like Outer Banks, Hilton Head, Wilmington.

Marcus: That's what's up. Hell yeah, so what happened with that relationship? It sounds pretty sweet. How did it end?

Kai: Yeah we dated for about two years and she cheated on me. So I told her to straight up, you know, lose my number. I don't want to be a part of this anymore. I just basically walked away. She's tried to kind of get back together but it's just once I feel like something like that happens, it's kind of hard to go back to normal, you don't really like, look at those people the same way. Yeah. So just kind of moved on. She's moved on too. She's pregnant now. So I think it’s kind of for the best for everybody, so I'm happier on my side I think though.

Marcus: Nice. I think I have one more question for you and then I'm all set.

Kai: Awesome. Yeah.

Marcus: Who's your favorite comedian?

Kai: Oh my gosh, dude, this is my favorite question that I have received this entire contest so far. OK I love stand up comedy. This is gonna be so hard for me to pick a favorite because I literally like follow, like all of the top comedians. Um I would have to probably say either Tom Segura or possibly Mark Normand. I'm so glad that you asked me that question, but now I have to ask is Maxine into comedy or are you into comedy and just kind of wanted to gauge where my thoughts were at?

Marcus: That's a great question. Both actually. But Maxine, I'll give you a tip that I haven't given anyone else. She's very into comedy.

Kai: That’s awesome.

Marcus: And you answered pretty strongly.

Kai: Wow. That's that's definitely exciting, I'll definitely have to ask her about that. But it was great to talk to you and get an outside perspective on everything, kinda get to learn a little bit more about Maxine. Really appreciate it.

Marcus: Sounds good man. Likewise it was great talking to you.

Next week, Maxine is back.

Maxine: That’s an amazing answer, yo!

She’ll get the 411 from Marcus on all of her Callers… and hear who he thinks should get the hang up.

Marcus: Ugh did someone gasp?

Then, she’ll make her choice— to either take his advice, or hit ignore.

But that’s next week… for now, we’re sending you straight to voicemail.

Caitlin: You’ve reached the Hang Up Voicemail. Leave a message at the .

Sasha: Hey it's Sasha. I think it went really well with Marcus. I hope it went really well with Marcus. You guys know how to throw people for a loop. This is crazy. You know, I thought I had it figured out and then yeah, go meet the brother right after the second date. Meet the brother cool, cool, cool. Alright, I hope he tells her that I'm great and that maybe she'd want to date me.

Charlie: This is Charlie. I was talking a lot, damn the whole time, I was trying to step away from that, but he kept pushing it so I was like, sure if you let me talk I'll talk, damn. As far as what I think he'll say to Maxine, maybe that I'm a little boring?

Sabo: This is Sabo and the call with Marcus I think and I hope for him as well you know was pretty enjoyable. I guess if anything I was just mostly nervous about it not feeling like an interview versus a conversation. I think I guess I'm just learning to accept that that's just always going to be at the bit of the awkward kind of flow in this circumstance. So overall I think it went really well.

Kai: I think things with Marcus went great honestly, we had an awesome conversation. At first, it was a little tough, not really sure what to talk about with you know a girls’s older brother. It's always been a tricky subject for me but just excited to kind of keep moving and hopefully Marcus had some good things to say about me.

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

This episode was mixed and sound designed by Ben Montoya. Ben is also our story editor.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy. Hear more at

Art by Alex Teschel.

Studio recording by Eric Elterman of Boomtown Studio, Kieran Kaye of Full English Post, and the ICA Community Media Center.

Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

This episode uses many sounds from Freesound, for the full list check out our show notes.

Hang Up is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at

Thank you to Freesound for many elements in this episode, including:

"redial_landline_5_rings.wav" by mshahen;

"Hawk/Eagle Cry (Distant)" by PRINCEofWORMS;

"Please Leave Your Message After the Tone" by kwahmah02;

S1 Episode 3: Phone a Friend