Steve Rannazzisi, Comedian Who Told of 9/11 Escape, Admits He Lied

16 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The League’ Star Steve Rannazzisi Admits to Lying About Sept. 11 Attacks Story.

This is crazy: A highly recognizable actor/comedian from the popular FXX fantasy football sitcom The League, Steve Rannazzisi, has admitted to the New York Times that he’s been lying publicly for years about escaping from the World Trade Center on 9/11. The comedian, 37, also appears in a series of Buffalo Wild Wings commercials that run often during sporting events and has a standup special scheduled to debut this Saturday on Comedy Central.

His original story dates back to December 2009 when he told the story to Marc Maron on his WTF podcast, which he has spoken about several times over the years. Rannazzisi, famous for his role on the hit television show “The League,” revealed in a statement he was lying about being inside one of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Additionally, these retellings (which took place only during interviews and never during Comedy Central programming) have also included that his girlfriend worked in the south tower’s 24th floor, but never made it to work that day. “We decided that we were moving,” he said on Pauly Shore & Friends in 2009. “We were like: ‘You know what? In December 2009, the funnyman told comedian Marc Maron in a podcast interview he working at Merrill Lynch’s offices on the 54th floor of the South Tower when the first plane struck the North Tower. He fled to the street just minutes before another plane slammed into his building, he said, and decided that very day that life was too precious to waste opportunities.

He said he managed to escape before the second plane struck his tower, and claimed the harrowing experience prompted him to abandon his white collar job to become a comedian in Los Angeles, where his career took off. They were like, ‘We are on our way down, we are on our way down.’” When pressed about the experience yesterday, however, he finally came clean: Confronted this week, though, with evidence that undermined his account, Mr. However, his story crumbled in the face of evidence that showed he was never an employee for the financial firm and he was actually in midtown, not the Financial District, on that fateful day, according to the Times report. I am truly, truly sorry. “For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man,” he continues. “It only made me more ashamed.

How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn’t come clean about this?” It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. Actually, he had been working in Midtown that day, and not for Merrill Lynch, which has no record of his employment and had no offices in either tower. The two both did move to Los Angeles shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks. (His website credits also falsely claim that he studied theater and film at the State University of New York at Purchase, though he actually majored in communications at SUNY Oneonta.

All I can ask is for forgiveness.” Rannazzisi’s story was first told on a Marc Maron podcast in 2009, but he has since tried to walk it back a little. For much more detail, you can read the whole story here. (And you can click here for a story about the seemingly related phenomenon of memoirs by writers who made what turned out to be fraudulent claims about their experiences during the Holocaust.) For what it’s worth, Rannazzisi’s claim of an epiphany following the attacks that ultimately made him decide to leave New York City to pursue his dream might be 100 percent accurate, as the attacks were extremely traumatic for anyone located in the city as the events unfolded. Rannazzisi said that he had gotten a good severance package from Merrill Lynch and that he clearly understood that Sept. 11 was a sensitive topic. “I’ve spoken about it before,” he said. “I just don’t ever want to feel like, anyone, I am cashing in or anything like that.” Mr. Rannazzisi, who is originally from Long Island, is far from the first person whose Sept. 11 account has been exaggerated or, as is the case here, false.

Rannazzisi was cast in several movies and TV sitcoms, including “The League” on FXX, about the high jinks of friends in a fantasy football league, where he has played Kevin MacArthur, an assistant district attorney and commissioner of the league.

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