Why Lie About Where You Were on 9/11? Steve Rannazzisi Tries to Explain, to Howard Stern

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Steve Rannazzisi, who plays that one guy in that fantasy football show (fine, Kevin on FX’s The League), got caught fibbing about where he was on 9/11 earlier this year. It turns out his super dramatic story, about escaping from one of the towers while working for Merrill Lynch just before the second plane hit, was nonsense. The national tragedy didn’t teach him about the preciousness of life; instead, it gave him a chance to fabricate a sort of entertainment origin story in service of his own PR. The Times piece linked above contains several cringe-worthy details, such as:

Nonetheless, he said, he remained affected by his memories of that day.

“I still have dreams of like, you know, those falling dreams,” he told the interviewer.

Yikes. The Times discovered the lie, and Rannazzisi immediately backtracked, admitting his lie through an agent.

Yesterday, the comedian (who also has his own stand-up specials and does commercials for Buffalo Wild Wings) appeared on Howard Stern’s Sirius show in an attempt to explain himself. Essentially, it boiled down to a believable story of making a really bad decision in the spur of the moment, and being cornered by his own lie.

“It wasn’t calculated at all,” he said. “It was as simple as sitting at the Comedy Store and everyone [being] like, ‘Hey, you’re from New York?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Were you just there? You were around?’ ‘Yeah, I was downtown.’ ‘You worked there?’ ‘Yeah, I did.’ You have like 15 seconds to go, ‘Wait, hold on, stop, wait, I’m sorry, that’s not true.’ And if you pass that 15 seconds, now it becomes a thing where you’re like — ‘Now I have to be the guy who is very strange and weird and just said I lied about 9/11.’”

He apologized yet again to the victims and their families toward the conclusion of his appearance. You can watch the interview below: