Maxine’s big brother Marcus gives his opinion on each of the Callers and turns Maxine's rankings upside down 🙃 But in the end, Maxine must choose for herself who to hang up on. ☎️😅


Previously on Hang Up…

Kai: How long have you known Maxine?

Marcus: Pretty long. Basically our whole lives.

Maxine goes on vacation…Leaving her big brother Marcus to take her place.

Sabo: Her brother! Got the family involved.

Sasha: That is a hard question sir.

Charlie: I’m just very careful about what I say I do and don’t like.

Marcus: I’ll give you a tip that I haven’t given anyone else.

Then, he’ll make his own decision on who she should hang up on next.

Maxine: I think that I will rely pretty heavily on Marcus's vote.

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 only have one date per week to stand out from the crowd and woo the Star.

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 until there’s one final Caller remaining.

To stay on the line, they must win over Maxine. 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 the cash prize of one thousand dollars.

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

In this episode, Maxine’s big brother Marcus will fill her in on how his time with her Callers went and tell her who he thinks should get the hang up.

Marcus: Did I just drop a bombshell?

Will his opinion sway her decision? Or will she hit “ignore”?

Maxine: The caller I have decided to hang up on is

Find out this week on Hang Up.

Zakiya: Maxine and Marcus. Hello, nice to meet you all. Or I mean, I know you Maxine.

Maxine: I was almost offended, frankly. I was about to just storm out of here.

Zakiya: After all we've been through. Hello Marcus, nice to meet you and great to hear your voice again, Maxine.

Maxine: Thank you. It's a pleasure.

Marcus: Hey, it's nice to meet you.

Zakiya: Marcus thanks for taking the time to do this, really fun, weird, random thing

Marcus: Yeah for sure

Zakiya: Maxine, you were just in Vegas right?

Maxine: Yes I was.

Zakiya: How was it?

Maxine: It was very, very fun. We went to go see Thunder Down Under, it’s an Australian male strip show. So it was like a bunch of Australian guys, like, apparently very high on molly was my understanding of the situation doing choreographed dances in like fun costumes. And showing us their butts.

Zakiya: Holy shit.

Maxine: I had a great time. I thought it was awesome. I went on stage.

Zakiya: You went on stage during Thunder Down Under?

Maxine: I got pulled by two of the dancers.

Zakiya: Oh my God.

Maxine: Can't say that happened to anyone else. Just saying.

Zakiya: See ok no matter where you go you have star energy, like, you're like main character energy, people are vying for your attention in Vegas, on Hang Up, everywhere.

Maxine: Everywhere

Zakiya: Wow. Okay, well, we've been busy while you were away in Vegas, particularly your big brother, Marcus.

Maxine: That is his name.

Zakiya: Yes so Marcus is your name in this universe. So Marcus, the purpose of the phone a friend date is for Maxine to get a new perspective on the people she's dating because at the end of our time together, she's going to have to choose one of them to hang up on and eliminate from the show.

Marcus: Wow

Zakiya: Yes, yes, Stakes are high. So before we dig into your phone calls, I want to understand a little bit more about what you were looking for when you talked to each caller, Marcus. So were you thinking about who you would like for Maxine? Or were you thinking about who she would like?

Marcus: I think I was thinking about who she would like.

Zakiya: Do you feel like you have you're like pretty confident in knowing what she likes, what kind of people she's into?

Marcus: No.

Zakiya: So you were you were just going in groping in the dark. You had no clue what you were fishing for, but you were fishing.

Marcus: You know, I wouldn't say I had no clue. I had I had some ideas but I don't know if I'm finna be right. You know.

Zakiya: Right. Well OK you said you had some idea, what is that idea?

Marcus: Well you know overall it's I feel like tolerability is really the big thing. You know, are they going to be annoying? Is she going to be annoyed with them? More specifically.

Maxine: Very smart.

Marcus: How much, how quickly.

Zakiya: I bet you have a good gauge on that. I feel like, siblings know each other's buttons more than anyone and Maxine, no shade but it seems like you have a lot of buttons, and that's not a bad thing.

Maxine: I do, I have a lot of buttons, it's probably, why is Marcus so eloquently put the tolerability as number one, I was like, damn, that was really wise.

Zakiya: OK so Marcus as her brother. I'm sure you've seen you know, Maxine date. Would you say that she has a type?

Marcus: Not really, usually handsome. I would say that's the type.

Maxine: You know what it is.

Marcus: You know conventionally attractive.

Maxine: Feels a little shallow but you know what are you gonna do?

Zakiya: OK so your type is handsome. How does handsome translate to this show?

Maxine: That's a great question. I think a little deeper I do just enjoy like someone that I can. I think the tolerability is like such a nice word because I do just want someone that I can like spend time with without being annoyed. Someone funny, ideally, can funny be my type? Even though I haven't dated a lot of funny people.

Zakiya: Oh that sucks.

Maxine: Yeah I'm usually the funny one.

Zakiya: Marcus. I have a question for you. So you know you talked to all four of these suitors and you went in, I'm sure, with some questions to try to sniff out who is best for your sister, so what are some of the questions that you asked?

Marcus: Well, I asked them what their relationship with optimism was.

Maxine: Did you ask people about their relationship with optimism because I'm so negative?

Marcus: Yeah.

Maxine: Smart.

Marcus: I asked uh what comedians they're into.

Zakiya: Why that question?

Marcus: I feel I think that Maxine and I would probably both agree that there's kind of a gateway to the soul with what makes you laugh. You know, it was just important to me to find out if there was compatibility with what made them laugh and if what made them laugh sucked.

Zakiya: Right. No that is huge. Okay Marcus. I understand that you've ranked each caller from your first pick to your last pick. So who's at the very top of your list?

Marcus: This was really hard for me. The list is fluid. Also.

Zakiya: OK.

Maxine: Just to paint you a picture he has a small notebook, maybe the size a little bigger than a palm, and a lot of pages have things on them.

Zakiya: You're a vigorous notetaker like Maxine, it runs in the family.

Maxine: I think it's more a little bit of disorganization.

Marcus: Don't get too excited, it's not that. Okay, so I think currently I have Kai number one.

Maxine: Kai is your number one!

Kai: Dude this is my favorite question that I have received this entire contest so far.

Marcus: It's fluid.

Zakiya: Oh my god.

Maxine: Please tell me about Kai, I would love to hear about this.

Marcus: I think he's my number one because who he liked in stand up, he had really good stand-up picks.

Maxine: Who were some of his favorite stand up picks?

Marcus: Tom Segura. Um Mark Norman. I know you fuck with those dudes. He was pretty passionate about stand up. So I feel like there's just like a lot of mileage there. Other than that, he seemed like a nice guy. He was said he was in like a really big motorcycle accident.

Maxine: Yeah in college and it like fucked him all up, but also just on a personal note, I hate motorcycles.

Marcus: Yeah well does he still mess with motorcycles?

Maxine: I don't think he's like allowed but, you know, it's just I feel like there's a whole vibe of motorcycle person that I just do not...

Marcus: He seems like reformed motorcycle person.

Maxine: I think if he could still be wild, he would still be wild. That was the vibe that I got, was that like, he's even I think gotten injured like a couple times like since then because he likes to get a little buck.

Marcus: Sure. Okay.

Zakiya: Maxine I have a question for you. You just said you're not super into people who are into motorcycles, but I thought you liked, wild guys. So tell me are you into wild? Are you not into wild? Do not like Kai cause he is wild or liked motorcycles? Cause he was at the bottom of your list last episode.

Maxine: He was, it was, it was a coin flip between him and the person I eliminated who was going to be eliminated.

Marcus: And again I could see it. The list is very fluid.

Maxine: I don't know that I like wild very much. I like going to bed early, I don't really like do any crazy drugs. I don't really love crowds. I hate motorcycles. So I don't know, I think that Kai's like a little fun was the vibe that I got like maybe a little too fun for me per se.

Zakiya: OK.

Maxine: Cause there were a lot of nice things about him, I don't want it to sound as though like I was just like, “Man fuck this guy.”

Zakiya: Marcus. Are you surprised to hear that I was at the bottom of Max's list whereas he was at the top of your list?

Marcus: No I'm really not.

Zakiya: Why not?

Marcus: I didn't necessarily feel like he would be her favorite, but I thought that they would have fun together. That was my really big criteria was like, who would she have fun with.

Zakiya: Got it, OK so Marcus who is number two, on your list?

Marcus: I think I had Saucer number two.

Zakiya: Sasha you said?

Maxine: Who? Sasha number two.

Marcus: I had saucer written down.

Zakiya: OK so why was Sasha number two?

Sasha: I’m a chronic optimist I have a problem, I’m telling you it’s bad.

Marcus: She seemed like she was into just like a rider basically, she seemed like she’d be down for whatever. I don't know if I would, she would be number two on the like long-term partnership list, but on the like, going and chilling and having fun she ranked pretty high for me.

Zakiya: And what gave you that sense about Sasha that she's fun and that Maxine and Sasha would have fun together?

Marcus: Well she told me she was fun. She also you know, I like she also asked her who her favorite comedian was, and she didn't say she was necessarily her favorite, but she said, she really fucked with Lisa Lampanelli.

Maxine: That's an amazing answer.

Marcus: I couldn't believe it.

Zakiya: Tell me like, why such a strong reaction and who is she?

Marcus: She's like she's like a 90s comedian. That's like just known for being super raunchy. It's really crass, tasteless, hilarious stuff.

Zakiya: That sounds honestly really great for Maxine.

Maxine: I think. I think that's a good answer, cause it isn't someone that I would like seek out but I’m certainly like “If you wanted to watch the fuckin, Lisa Lampanelli special like let's get it, bro? Like, open the bottle of wine and let's go.”

Marcus: It's amazing.

Maxine: I like Sasha a lot too, I think she's dope. I do like get the vibe that we would hang and it would be cool and that she does seem cool because she like told me she was cool also. I think that it's not so much that like she said she was fun so Marcus believed it. I think it was like she said she was fun in a manner that was like oh we have to believe it but yeah, I know you're right. I see it.

Zakiya: OK so that's cool so it seems like y'all are pretty aligned with Sasha. So Charlie and Sabo are the last two.

Charlie: She seems to think I’m super into Harry Potter.

Sabo: I think I’m definitely an outdoor dog.

Who do you think Maxine should hang up on?

Marcus: Man, this was really difficult. I don't know, I don't know if I know, I think I think probably I really hate to say this but I think, I think Charlie. Ah, did someone gasp?

Zakiya: Oops. I was trying to be a silent peanut gallery.

Maxine: Zakiya that was an audible gasp.

Marcus: That's how I feel oh no. I love Charlie. He seemed so sweet.

Zakiya: Really? What do you love about him?

Marcus: He just seemed like a really nice delightful fella. He told me about dentistry. He seems like he has like a lot of initiative with the way that he just like lives that he just seems like a really nice guy. Yeah, I don't know I liked him a lot, he seemed really humble.

Maxine: So why should I hang up on Charlie then? I have a feeling I know what you're getting at, but I would like to hear you say it.

Marcus: He's a little. I don't think he's boring. But I don't know if you will, not think that he's not boring.

Zakiya: You're so kind Marcus.

Maxine: Oh, man.

Zakiya: So Marcus why did he seem boring to you? Or why did you think he could be boring for Maxine?

Marcus: Thank you.

Zakiya: You're like, “I love Charlie OK, get that straight.”

Marcus: Um I don't know, he just he didn't he didn't really strike me as, I know, I said Maxine doesn’t really have a type but he like really felt like he wasn't her type. Yeah, I don't know, he felt like the she does have a not type and he could potentially be a part of it. He said Dave Chappelle was his favorite comedian. Which I thought you might be a little tepid on.

Maxine: Tepid is how I feel currently.

Marcus: So that factored in.

Zakiya: Yeah no that’s totally fair because Dave Chappelle came under fire for saying transphobic and just generally really offensive things.

Marcus: I mean, I'm surprised Charlie made it this long, to be honest, I hate to throw shade at Charlie, but I don't even, I can't wait to hear how y'all's interactions have been. I can't, I can't even see it to be honest.

Zakiya: And so the last caller remaining, so I guess Sabo is the last on your list, Marcus?

Marcus: I think that puts Sabo at number three.

Zakiya: So tell me about your call with Sabo. What was your were your impressions of them?

Marcus: Um, they seemed really nice kind of down for whatever also which I think is good but also like a source of excitement in and of themselves that was like kind of also the same reason I dinged them a little bit because they just seem like they had a lot of their own stuff going on.

Zakiya: Tell me more, what do you mean like they have a lot of their own stuff going on?

Marcus: Well they're talking about like they have a podcast they're doing, they've been like trying to do like other other dating shows.

Zakiya: Other dating shows? There's multiple dating shows that our Callers are doing, what?

Maxine: I'm fascinated to hear about this.

Marcus: I think they said that this was like they've tried to be on other dating shows.

Zakiya: Interesting. Because as an expert on reality dating shows, it's always a red flag when you find out that one of the contestants has tried to be on another dating show or has been. Cause it's like “Are they here for the right reasons,” you know?

Marcus: That's how I felt. Yeah. That was my that's honestly really my only beef with Sabo. They seem really cool. Otherwise. But then I was just like, are you, are you here for Maxine? Or are you here for Sabo?

Zakiya: Interesting.

Marcus: Did I just drop a bombshell on this podcast?

Maxine: Well, I got kind of a similar vibe. I know they did talk about how they have their own podcast, how they're poly, and I assume they're probably like partnered. They have like big dreams of being like, starting kind of like a queer farm. Sabo I'll be honest was the number one that I was like, they would probably just take the money.

Marcus: Yeah that's how I felt. I just think they're just like really driven to like do some shit for themselves. I think really they just really want to be seen. I don't mean that pejoratively like that's really their focus right now in life is like building their platform.

Zakiya: Which is fair. It sounds like you're saying that they're pretty driven, and they have their own personal goals, and those personal goals seem to be high priority for them, which I have to say Maxine. You've said that you dated some like bum bitches. I'm adding the bitches part, some like grown men that you’ve had to take care of, and they weren't really about their own shit. And so it sounds like Sabo is kind of about their own shit, but it sounds like you're saying it's kind of a yellow flag for you. Isn't it a good thing that they have like all these things that they're driven towards and they have their own life going on? And so therefore they wouldn't have to lean on you so much?

Maxine: Yeah, I did consider that a positive but also like the things that Marcus is expressing, like I also felt. So I was kind of curious to see like what his perspective would be. So now like hearing those concerns mirrored back, I'm like, “Oh yeah, maybe it's like, not that tight.” Like, I'm seeing now, like, in my notes, I wrote, I felt nervous. I came off as messy and I did feel like they had like a lot of like really positive things but then also, like they're also bartender, you know, like we socialize for a living. So I feel like it's maybe not that hard to just be like cool with someone, especially someone who's cool, cause I'm cool. So, you know, I think I was a little nervous about that. So now hearing it, I'm like, okay yeah.

Zakiya: Got it

Maxine: Cause I really can't pick someone who picks $1,000 over a vacation with me. That's like an insultingly low number. I really want whoever wins this thing to pick the vacation.

Zakiya: Speaking of the money, if the money twist wasn't at the end of all of this, is Sabo someone, you think, would be good to date Maxine? Or is it just because you think they would take the money that you're kind of like eh sus on Sabo?

Marcus: To be honest, it's mostly the money thing. I think, otherwise, Sabo seems really cool. They seem to definitely have like similar values so yeah, I could see if money and vacation and and those stakes weren't involved Sabo would rank much higher for me.

Zakiya: Got it. So let me be messy and ask you, the other Callers, do you think they would take the money or choose love?

Marcus: Ooh Max or Money, that's a good game.

Zakiya: Yeah Max or money, starting with Kai.

Marcus: Uh Max.

Zakiya: Okay. What about Sasha?

Marcus: I think Max.

Zakiya: Okay. Sabo?

Marcus: Sabo, money.

Zakiya: And Charlie it's 50/50 for you?

Marcus: It's, it's 51-49 money.

Zakiya: OK OK, Maxine after hearing all of that. What are you feeling?

Maxine: I don't feel great, but I feel informed. And I think that is a feeling that I have had multiple times after I have introduced a new person that I'm dating to my brother Marcus.

Zakiya: That is so real. I don't feel great, but I feel informed.

Maxine: Not awesome but I feel like I learned some stuff.

Zakiya: So tell me like what it, what's the main takeaways that you've learned and what particularly that you heard feels disappointing?

Maxine: I'll be honest, I wanted Marcus to be like Sabo's dope and I think that they're the thing that you should be doing like confidently. Cause I didn't I didn't want him to validate the feelings that I had. But then also, like objectively is giving $1,000 to a person that's like just trying to reinvest in, you know, their community and stuff like the worst thing? I don't mean to paint Sabo as a villain for like tryna get theirs.

Zakiya: Yeah so does that complicate things? I guess you're saying that you kind of had an idea of what we want to hang up on. But do you feel like that's shifted? You have new things to consider now that you've debriefed?

Maxine: Yeah I suppose there are some new things to consider. I don't know exactly what the choice is now I felt like I came into this room and I was like, “it was between Kai and Osprey last time. And, you know, now it's Kai's time” and now I'm like, “should I you know give him a little more time? Should I nip this Sabo thing in the bud?”

Zakiya: Marcus, you've seen Maxine date a range of people and now you even talked to the four people that she's dating right now on this show. So can you turn to Maxine and tell her what you wish for her when it comes to her romantic life?

Marcus: Maxine.

Maxine: Marcus.

Marcus: I wish that. You find what you're looking for. And I really trust you, I trust your judgment just because you know, you haven't found someone that I have necessarily really seen as a long-term fit…

Maxine: To be fair, me neither.

Marcus: Exactly, that's what I'm saying. I think that's only an indication that you're well equipped to judge well, you know, and, you know yourself and I hope that you keep learning and growing and I'm proud of you for doing this.

Maxine: Thanks Marcus.

Marcus: Having fun with it.

Maxine: I love you.

Marcus: Love you too.

Zakiya: Let’s take a quick break and give Maxine a little bit of time to make her decision. When we come back, we’ll find out who gets the hang up. Stay on the line!

Robot voice: Welcome to the Hang Up Hotline. Our Star Maxine and her four Callers are already on the line. To enter, please say the password.

Zakiya: Thunder down under.

Robot voice: You may enter.

Zakiya: Alright callers, so we are back together here on the Hang Up Hotline, how is everybody feeling?

Sabo: Feeling good.

Charlie: Pretty good.

Maxine: Ready for this.

Zakiya: Amazing, OK so on your last date you got to meet Marcus, Maxine’s big brother and Maxine heard all about it. After your calls Marcus went into the studio with Maxine and gave her the 411, who he thought should stay on the line and who should get the hang up. So Maxine, I know you had a lot to think about. Have you made your decision?

Maxine: I have

Zakiya: You had the added element here of your brother's opinion on each of the Callers. Did that make your decision harder or easier?

Maxine: We spoke for obviously an extended period of time about the hang up and he had his original set of ranks and then I called him today and we kind of like went over it again and we came up with a new rank and we came to a decision that we were both, we felt was the best about who is going to be hung up on. There's been a rerank.

Zakiya: Oh my God. Okay. Marcus is kind of somewhat of a wild-card shaking it up a little bit. So Maxine.

Maxine: Yes.

Zakiya: Which caller are you choosing to hang up on?

Maxine: Okay. Zakiya. The caller I have decided to hang up on is Kai.

Kai: Ooh, that's rough. But I get it. I thought I was doing well with it. I was just very excited when you brought up that you're a big fan of comedy and that is one of the big things for me in my life, so sad that we didn't get to talk about that, but wishing you all the best with the rest of the contestants.

Maxine: Thank you so much. You were first in the first set of Marcus's rankings.

Kai: I'll take that.

Zakiya: Okay, so Kai. You were so close to make it to the final three. What's it like to be so close and get the hang up now?

Kai: Yeah, I was definitely just a little thrown off. I thought everything with Marcus went really well, like there wasn't anything else I could have done or anything I would have done differently, it was kind of a surprise hearing I went from being the number one to being voted off. It’s like a game of telephone where it's like he said, she said blah blah blah in and things can kind of get lost in translation, but it's definitely tough once you get down to just picking between a few people.

Maxine: Goodbye, Kai. Thank you for participating in this experience. It's been fun.

Kai: Thank you It's been great getting to know you and getting some more about you and even about myself throughout this journey. So I just want to say, thanks again. And hopefully I do get to meet you one day but goodbye.

Zakiya: Okay. Wow, Sabo, Sasha, and Charlie you all have survived a hang up and you've made it through the first three hang ups, you're the final three. You're more than halfway there. Yeah how are y'all feeling?

Sasha: Shook.

Charlie: I feel handsome.

Sasha: Go Charlie.

Sabo: I feel affirmed.

Zakiya: I love that shook, handsome, and affirmed. That's a great way to feel. Okay, so now that Maxine's brother is off the line. It's time to get down and dirty. The theme of the next date is Star 69.

Sasha: That's like, that's redial, that's call people back, what does that have to do with anything? Do we have to call him back? What's going on?

Zakiya: I appreciate the innocence but I think more of the emphasis should be placed on the 69.

Sabo: Oh Jesus.

Zakiya: For the first time, y'all will reveal what you look like and Maxine will too. Then, you'll find out if the two of you will mesh in the bedroom, of course, all over the phone. This next date will test the limits of your imagination and your dirty talk. So light some candles, run a bubble bath, turn off the lights. And get ready to get turned on.

Sasha: Raar

Caitlin: Hello! You’ve reached the Hang Up voicemail. Leave a message at the

Sasha: Hey, this is Sasha. So tonight was kind of crazy. And that was the most nerve-wracking hang up so far. But I made it to the final three. Pretty happy about that, pretty proud of myself. So, we got asked at this point, do we think we could win? And my answer is I don't know, no clue, not sure. I'm hoping I'm not the one that gets hung up on next because I hope, you know, at the end of all this, somebody finds some love.

Sabo: This is Sabo and do I think I could win Hang Up? I do believe that I will win Hang Up. You do have to manifest your own reality. So yeah, I feel pretty confident just in knowing that like, I know I'm a catch and a pretty decent conversationalist. Who do I think will be hung up on next? I think Charlie's going next.

Charlie: Hey it's Charlie. Do I think I can win this thing? Honestly I'm not sure it would be easier to gauge if if I had any opportunity to kind of read what other people's interactions with Maxine was like, but it is surprising that, the most recent dude, he he got eliminated. I thought he was so cool. I thought he was going to win it. I mean the rankings seem pretty tenuous, maybe that's a good word. But it's nice to be in the top three.

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 Chioke I’Anson of the ICA Community Media Center.

Tape sync by Gabriela Santana.

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:

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

S1 Episode 4: Phone a Friend, cont.