Friday, September 25, 2015

Not a stand-up guy

It's another sign of my unfortunate out-of-the-loopness that I have never heard of Steve Rannazzisi, who apparently forged a nice little career for himself as a stand-up comedian.  His story was, he was a guy who gave up a nice career working for Merrill Lynch after escaping from the 54th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and now shares his wit with an awaiting world.

There's just one problem with this scenario.  It's all a lie, including the part about him being witty. Rannazzisi never worked for Merrill Lynch, and was not near the WTC on 9/11.

Other than that....

Normally, I would use a picture of the subject of my
blog, but I don't want to give this goofball any free
publicity, so here's a picture of some cute
kittens instead
Rannazzisi and his wife moved to Los Angeles in 2001 so that he could get into show business. His act consists of telling jokes about his wife, and about coaching Little League.  He taped a Comedy Central special called "Breaking Dad" before the truth about him came out, and Comedy Central went right ahead and ran it last weekend anyway, because that channel has almost as many viewers as the average traffic accident has rubberneckers.

Someone found out about his desperate lies, and he was forced to come clean, so he had his publicist tweet a series of contrite tweets, including this mea culpa

“It is to the victims of 9/11 and to the people that love them — and the people that love me — that I ask for forgiveness.”  

Rannazzisi, 37, added that for years, he wished that silence “could somehow erase a story told by an immature young man.”

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson, who lost his firefighter dad Scott, a member of FDNY Ladder 118 who died in the tower collapse, tweeted a slam that Rannazzisi didn't quite get.

“It's ok @SteveRannazzisi people make mistakes,” wrote Davidson. “Can't wait to meet my dad for lunch later.”

Rannazzisi, unaware of Davidson’s story, tweeted back thanks. 

“I think you missed the point,” replied Davidson, who was 7 when his dad, along with five other firefighters, ran up the stairs to their sad fate.

Pete Davidson went on a radio show to say that Rannazzissi is not sorry, but is sorry that he got caught.

Amazingly, there have been others pushing this lie. Tania Head, a Spaniard who was never in the US until 2003, concocted a story of her escape and even became the leader of the World Trade Center Survivors' Network before her hoax was revealed in 2007.

On the other hand, Brian Williams.

As a young man, I learned something I never forgot.  Just as hoping that a broken-down car engine will somehow heal itself, the passage of time does nothing to heal a lie.  It only makes it worse, and this alleged comic ought to find a way to repay society for having cashed in on the unspeakable misery of others.

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