Comedian Who Claimed He Escaped The 9/11 WTC Attack Says He Made It Up

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WTF, Kevin?

In 2009, Steve Rannazzisi, most known for his role on FXX's “The League,” went on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast and spoke about narrowly escaping the Twin Towers after his “building got hit with a plane.”

According to the interview, Rannazzisi worked for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the second tower as an account manager for "a year and a half" leading up to 9/11.

During the interview, he told Maron,

I was there and then the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place and then port authority came on the loudspeaker and they were like, 'Hey, explosion in tower one. Things are being taken care of. Everyone remain where you are. Stay calm. We're figuring things out.'

He then went on to recount,

I went downstairs, walked outside, saw all the pandemonium. And then about five or six minutes later, BANG.

Rannazzisi credits this horrifying chain of events as the reason he decided to get out of finance, move to Los Angeles and pursue a comedy career.

He also talked to Maron about what he and his girlfriend (who he claimed also worked in the towers) did after the attacks. He said,

 We went up to the roof of our building, we smoked a joint and then decided we are going to leave.

The only issue is this never happened.

Rannazzisi never witnessed planes hitting the buildings, he never worked for Merrill Lynch (which never had offices in the Twin Towers) and he wasn't even geographically near the World Trade Center on 9/11.

After being recently confronted about the specifics of the story, Rannazzisi announced he made everything up through a statement issued by his publicist on Tuesday.

The statement read,

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.

It continued,

For many years, more than anything. I have wished that, with silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man. It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest when I hadn't come clean about this?

Steve went into more detail on his Twitter account, where he addressed his fans and those affected by the attacks that took place on September 11, 2001.

As a young man, I made a mistake that I deeply regret and for which apologies may still not be enough. — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
After I moved with my wife to Los Angeles from New York City in 2001 shortly after 9/11, I told people that I was in one of the World Trade — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
Center towers on 9/11. It wasn't true. I was in Manhattan but working in a building in midtown and I was not at the Trade Center on that day — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
I don't know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry. For many years, more than anything, I have wished that, with — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
silence, I could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man.It only made me more ashamed. How could I tell my children to be honest — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
when I hadn't come clean about this? — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
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. — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015
not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake. — Stephen Rannazzisi (@SteveRannazzisi) September 16, 2015

The "WTF" podcast wasn't the only time he talked about 9/11.

In 2011, Rannazzisi went on the “Sklarbro Country” podcast where he even made a reference to a severance package he received from Merrill Lynch after the attacks.

He told the podcast hosts,

I've spoken about it before... I just don't ever want to feel like, anyone, I am cashing in or anything like that.

Rannazzisi also referenced the attacks during a CBS Sports radio show in 2014, correcting the show's hosts to say he was actually just "downtown" at the time, not necessarily inside the World Trade Center like he originally said.

Rannazzisi's one-hour special for Comedy Central called “Steve Rannazzisi: Breaking Dad” is set to air this Saturday.

He also has several sponsorship deals, the most notable of which is with Buffalo Wild Wings. However, The New York Times reports, on Tuesday, Buffalo Wild Wings said it was “re-evaluating [its] relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts."

Citations: Steve Rannazzisi Comedian Who Told of 911 Escape Admits He Lied (The New York Times)