Comedian Steve Rannazzisi Admits He Made Up His 9/11 Story

Photo: Erik Pendzich/REX USA
The debate over when and how comedians cross the line is always ongoing. But everyone can likely agree that making up a harrowing story about escaping from the twin towers on 9/11 crosses every line imaginable. Like, a Mission Impossible labyrinth of laser trip wires worth of lines. But that's just what comedian Steve Rannazzisi has confessed to doing. Best known for playing Kevin on seven seasons of The League, Rannazzisi first told the story about leaving his office in the south tower just before the second plane hit in an interview with podcast host Marc Maron in 2009. Rannazzisi explained that the incident is what lead him to follow his acting dreams, a near-death experience narrative that seems all too familiar. But on Tuesday, as The New York Times reports, his publicist revealed in a statement that the comedian actually made the whole thing up. "I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry,” the statement read. Rannazzisi is scheduled to have a one-hour special air on Comedy Central this Saturday, but whether it will still air seems questionable. At least one company he has a working relationship with, Buffalo Wild Wings (Rannazzisi has appeared in a string of commercials for the chain), has backpedaled on their association with him. The franchise explained in a statement, "We are disappointed to learn of Steve’s misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001. We are currently re-evaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts.” His story has not appeared entirely consistent in the past. In a 2014 interview, Rannazzisi seemed to imply he was not, in fact, in the south tower on 9/11, saying, "She [his girlfriend] worked down at the World Trade Center, and I was downtown." On September 16, Rannazzisi tweeted a plea to be forgiven, writing, "It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them — and the people that love me — that I ask for forgiveness."

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