CUTTING UP: Radio show hosts Max Kellerman & Marcellus Wiley pose with In the Cut shop owner Trevor Graham and manager Marc Ford (L-R Ford, Wiley, Graham, Kellerman)
Photo by Deontae Forte
Popular radio duo Max & Marcellus cut up at local barbershop
Barbershops are known for sports banter, fervent debates, jive talk – basically man gossip, and Friday, December 20, Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley took their popular ESPN sports talk radio show straight into that haven of fun loving trash talk. The duo live broadcasted the Max & Marcellus show from “In the Cut” Barbershop located in downtown Inglewood.
“In the Cut’,” which sits between La Brea Avenue and Market Street on Regent street is the shop Wiley, an LA native, would frequent for haircuts as a young man. Now back in Los Angeles after a successful NFL career, Wiley is a sports broadcaster and chose his hometown barbershop to play host for the day.
Generally busy on Fridays, “In the Cut” was buzzing far more than usual December 20 with locals swarming the shop to listen to the live broadcast and take pictures with the hosts on commercial breaks.
Kellerman and Wiley are opposites in many ways both physically and personally. At 6’4” Wiley an African American with a large football frame towers over the 5’11” Jewish Kellerman. Kellerman grew up privileged in New York, Wiley on the other hand grew up in Compton. But for all their differences, the two share some strong uniting factors. Both studied at Columbia University, graduating just a year apart, both share a passionate love of sports, and both can “take it” as well as they can “dish it.”
On all things sports and with an occasional dip into pop culture, Kellerman and Wiley rant, rave, and critique. During the four-hour drive-time talk show listeners get professional grade sports commentary ladled with a heavy dose of jest. Kellerman has a background as a boxing analyst and Wiley, a former NFL defensive end, transitioned seamlessly into commentating after retiring from the league.
Wiley and Kellerman share a magnetic chemistry on air, so much so that in 2013, ESPN enlisted the pair to host another one of the network’s shows – this one broadcasting on television nationwide – ESPN’s popular television show – Sports Nation.
Friday at “In the Cut,” the Inglewood community welcomed the dynamic duo with open arms. Inglewood’s mayor, James T. Butts, came by the shop to catch a piece of the show and enjoy with the community. A couple of local residents even got involved in an on-air capacity. Wiley and Kellerman welcomed unwavering Kobe fan, “Miss Evelyn” and sports writer R.J. “Primo” Rooney on the show as guest hosts for the day. Miss Evelyn and Primo added another level of intensity to the comedic banter to the show. Both sports junkies, the pair gave a nice local flavor to the broadcast.
The Max & Marcellus show wrapped things up as usual at 7pm December 20 from “In the Cut,” but the energy from the show stayed in the air at the barbershop till well past closing. To the buzz of electric clippers, and the swivel of chairs, the shops patrons had yet another thing to discuss.
“It was awesome,” said the shop’s owner Trevor Graham. “Barbershops always talk sports but having the show here brought more than just a conversation amongst patrons. To hear a conversation live that is completely about sports from professionals, from their professional perspective…the customers definitely enjoyed it and took it in well.”
Graham who’s been in the hair-cutting business 31 years says conversations in the shop range anywhere from sports to religion to relationships.
“Usually we have a lot of topics that are controversial. It can be a heated debate, you have a lot of people that have their opinions and they want to address them whether it be aggressively or otherwise, it’s just fun. The barbershop should be a safe haven for men, women’s opinions and views are welcomed however it’s the time and opportunity for men to really have no holds barred,” explained Graham and safe to say it wouldn’t be the same without sports talk.
“The conversation that goes on is awesome, and sometimes it’s endless! Come down and get a haircut you’d enjoy it,” the veteran barber invites.