Steve Rannazzisi Apologized to Marc Maron for Telling False Sept. 11 Attacks Story On Air
"I appreciate the apology, it was a bad thing to do, but that’s on Steve now and that’s his cross to bear on his conscience."
Before Steve Rannazzisi publicly admitted to fabricating an oft-told Sept.11-related story — about deciding to move to Los Angeles to pursue comedy after his traumatic experience fleeing the World Trade Center during the attacks — the stand-up comedian and cast member of FX's The League made a phone call to Marc Maron.
Rannazzisi rang the WTF podcast host to apologize to him for sharing in 2009 an extremely detailed account of escaping from the south tower.
"I didn't know what it was about, I thought he'd want to come on and talk about his [Comedy Central stand-up] special — turns out it was much more dire," Maron said, addressing the controversy at the beginning of Thursday's episode. "He said, 'I need to apologize to you for lying to you. I’m sorry, it’s not true and I’m just not that guy who does that. … I'm just coming clean, and I want to apologize to you."
Rannazzisi confessed to Maron just before a New York Times article on the matter went live. "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," the comedian said in a statement. "It was profoundly disrespectful to those who perished and those who lost loved ones. … The stupidity and guilt I have felt for many years has not abated. It was an early taste of having a public persona, and I made a terrible mistake."
Of hearing the story six years ago, Maron said, "I don’t know that he necessarily owed me an apology, I think it's the right thing to do to apologize for lying, but I need you guys to know that this is not 60 Minutes. If someone comes on this show and tells a story about their life, I will take what they’re saying at face value. If people come on here and make stuff up, that’s on them."
"This is obviously going to be a life-changer for Steve, and he's gotta live with this," he continued. "I appreciate the apology, it was a bad thing to do, but that’s on Steve now and that’s his cross to bear on his conscience. And he's gotta live with the repercussions with what he did, and now owning up to it."