Comedy Central, Buffalo Wild Wings Are Reconsidering Deals With Comedian Who Lied About 9/11

Steve Rannazzisi admits making up survival story

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Comedian Steve Rannazzisi, best known for his role as Kevin on the The League, has admitted that he faked his account of surviving the 9/11 attacks.

In December 2009 Rannazzisi told the tale to Marc Maron, whose interview style lends itself to a confessional environment for guests, on his WTF podcast. Rannazzisi detailed working for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the south tower when the first plane hit the north tower. 

"I was there, and then the first tower got hit, and we were jostled all over the place," he told Maron. "I went downstairs, walked outside, saw all the pandemonium, and then about 5 or 6 minutes later, wsssh, bang. … I called up to the office, and it was pandemonium."

He then described running for safety and watching the towers fall from a distance. He mentions his wife, then his girlfriend, also worked in the World Trade Center but was riding the subway when the attack occurred.  

However, Rannazzisi never worked for Merrill Lynch, according to The New York Times, and he now says that he was working in Midtown that day.

His interview with Maron, however, was not the only time Rannazzisi told his fictional account, he repeated the account on other podcasts and interviews

"I was not at the Trade Center on that day," said Rannazzisi in a statement provided by his publicist, Matthew Labov, to The New York Times. "I don't know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry." 

The League, which started its seventh and final season earlier this month, airs on FX. "We are disappointed to learn that Steve Rannazzisi lied about being in the World Trade Center on 9/11," said a spokesman for the network in a statement. "It is upsetting that he would fabricate a story about having survived that horrible tragedy. It is also unfortunate that he did not admit to the truth sooner. That said we believe Steve is sincere in his apology and will do everything he can to make amends moving forward."

The comedian, who has an upcoming one-hour special on Comedy Central this Saturday, was also recently named the spokesman for Buffalo Wild Wings. 

"We are disappointed to learn of Steve's misrepresentations regarding the events of September 11, 2001," said a spokesman for Buffalo Wild Wings in a statement. "We are currently reevaluating our relationship with Steve pending a review of all the facts."

A spokesperson for Comedy Central says the network is reconsidering whether to air his special this weekend:

"We just learned about this last night," the Comedy Central spokesperson said. "We are very disappointed to hear about Steve's misrepresentations and are currently determining how we will move forward."

This morning, Rannazzisi posted a series of tweets apologizing for his falsehoods:

Below is a YouTube clip of Moran's interview with Rannazzisi. The 9/11 portion begins around the 25-minute mark:

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: September 16, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT