I worked in Merrill Lynch for a year and a half as an account manager…Until our building got hit with a plane and the party ended. I worked on the 54th floor of the second tower. I was there and the first tower got hit and we were like jostled all over the place and the Port Authority came on the loud-speaker and they were like, “hey, explosion in tower one. Things are being taken care of, remain where you are, stay calm, we’re figuring things out.”
And I was like, “Well, I’m gonna go check this thing out.” So I went downstairs, walked outside, saw all the pandemonium, and about 5 or 6 minutes later and then it just bang. While I was underneath that giant overpass.
The quote above comes from one of the stars from FXX’s The League, Stephen Rannazzisi (Kevin MacArthur), who claimed that his entry into the entertainment business was due to his miraculous survival of the terrorist attacks that struck New York’s Twin Towers back in September 11th of 2001.
…and it turns out that the whole thing was a lie.
The terrorist attacks did happen (stop trying to justify your conspiracies) but his survival story was completely fake according to his publicist, Matthew Labov, who, in a recent public statement, quoted Mr. Rannazzisi as saying, “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.”
New York Times confronted Mr. Rannazzisi earlier this week accusing him of lying. After some back and forth and NYT bringing forth evidence to prove his supposed relation with Merrill Lynch were false, Rannazzisi finally gave in and admitted to having made up the whole thing.
It seems rather odd to confront a man about his story after so many years, and it’s even more odd that someone would ever lie about such a thing, but, nevertheless, the real truth is out there now.
Since news got out about his 9/11 lie, Stephen Ranazzisi has faced some backlash from both his fans and business sponsors. Buffalo Wild Wings has gone on record saying, “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,” which was soon followed by Comedy Central execs expressing the same views.
However, it’s FX/FXX who we really want to hear from as they have had Stephen Ranazzisi as a lead character in their very popular comedy sitcom The League since its inception. Although they have said that they are upset to hear about this news and disappointed in Ranazzisi, they do not intend to take him out of the show. This is due to the fact that they already have 85% of the show’s final season already filmed, and taking him out now would be far too much of a hassle.
Although the story is rather upsetting, given that Stephen Ranazzisi is such a delightful comic, I do not think this lie will be getting him into much more trouble other than some corporate finger wagging. The lie was pretty big, but at least he didn’t kill a person in a head-on collision or beat his girlfriend to a near comatose state.