Steve Rannazzisi went on Howard Stern yesterday to explain his 9/11 lie. In an honest and open chat, The League star said he invented his story in “waves,” saying “it wasn’t calculated,” but that he knows his “dumb mistake created a story that hit a wound that should have never been touched.”
Over the course of the conversation, Rannazzisi details the origins of the tale and how it just spiderwebbed out over his whole life, even coming to involve his wife, who he asked to lie for him. Things really got out of hand, Rannazzisi claims, when both Pauly Shore and Andrew Dice Clay picked up the rumor. As he described it on Stern,
It’s sort of like when you tell a couple of open mic comedians, they start to talk to other people, and then — at the Comedy Store, it was like, you had open mic comedians, you had successful comedians, and then you had stars come in. Like Pauly Shore was there all the time, and Dice. And then those guys hear it. …Dice would be like, hey, how are you? He started calling me T2, a nickname. And I’m like I don’t know, now I don’t know how to ever tell anyone that this is not true.
It even made it into a Pauly Shore standup special, Rannazzisi says:
When I did the Pauly Shore standup special, he came to my house to interview me. And he was one of the people, like I said, that had heard the story, so I wasn’t sure he was going to ask, but I had a feeling that he might…and then when he did, I was like ‘okay.’ I just told the story the way that I thought that he may have heard it. And then after, I was just like, ‘I have to ask him not to put that in.’ And I don’t know how to do that. And that, I should have demanded that he not put that in.
For what it’s worth, Rannazzisi says he is truly very sorry for what he did, saying he “knows what [he] did was terrible.” As he told Stern, “I know that I hurt a lot of people—people that lost people, people that helped people survive. And those are the people that I am truly sorry [for.] I feel awful.”