Steve Rannazzisi, Comedian, Admits He Lied About Surviving 9/11 Attacks

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Some survivors from the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 became local, and for even fewer, national celebrities for their admirable and harrowing stories of escape. One man in particular, Steve Rannazzisi, claimed he not only survived the collapsing buildings, but used it as motivation to live life to the fullest by becoming a popular comedian and television actor. The only problem is, Rannazzisi was never in the World Trade Center on that day. On September 16th, after the New York Times came to Rannazzisi with evidence undermining his stores, The League television show star and comedy central stand-up comedian acknowledged that he had been lying for years.

For the past decade or so, Rannazzisi had described his “experience” during the attacks in several interviews. Most notably, during an interview on WTF with Marc Maron he described how he was in the 54th Floor of the South Tower working for Merrill Lynch when the first place struck the north tower. After running downstairs and out of the building, he watched the tower he was just in get hit. He proceeded to run away as fast he could and never looked back.

Unfortunately for Rannazzisi and his fans, the New York Times unveiled evidence that Rannazzisi never worked for Merrill Lynch—in fact, Merrill Lynch didn’t even have offices in either tower of the World Trade Center when the attacks occurred.

“I was not at the World Trade Center that day,” Rannazzisi said in a statement given to the New York Times by his publicist. “I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.”

An up and coming star in the comedy world, Rannazzisi has been a lead in the hit FXX show The League since 2009. He has also been the spokesperson for the Buffalo Wild Wings since March of 2015. However, the day after Rannazzisi came clean about his lies, it was reported that the restaurant chain had dropped him as their spokesperson.

“Upon careful review, we have decided to discontinue airing our current television commercials featuring Steve Rannazzisi,” the company said in a quote given by cnn.com.

Despite Buffalo Wild Wings’ decision to discontinue talks with Rannazzisi, Comedy Central aired his brand new stand-up comedy central on September 19th. Also, FXX has decided to keep the actor on The League, according to the New York Times, mainly because the show is currently filming their last season. This probably brings some solace to the actor, considering he is now one of the most controversial comedians in the business.

This controversy has caused public backlash from thousands of people, including celebrities, on social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, whose firefighter father died in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, initially was angry with Rannazzisi, tweeting a sarcastic apology then telling him that he can’t wait to have lunch with his dad. However, Davidson later apologized, and, according to People Magazine’s website, told equally frustrated fans to “take it easy” and that he is a fan of Rannazzisi and his show.

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