Comedian Steve Rannazzisi, the star of The League who admitted last month that he had lied for years about working at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001, appeared on Howard Stern's radio show to apologize and discuss the circumstances around the lie. It is the first time Rannazzisi has spoken in public since admitting to the lie, and it is a very heavy interview—one in which a visibly tense and uncomfortable Rannazzisi seems on the verge of tears at several points.
Outside of maybe Marc Maron, there is no one who would have been better suited to conduct this interview than the probing Stern, who strikes the right balance between holding Rannazzisi's feet to the fire and also attempting to empathize with him. Stern asks him at one point, "do you think of yourself as psychologically disturbed?", and compares him to women who hurt their children for sympathy/attention ("if people feel bad for me, maybe they'll like me"), but he also takes the time to listen to his side and try to understand the genesis for the lie and how it continued for so long.
Rannazzisi describes the lie as a momentary mistake he made upon moving to L.A. after 9/11, one which followed him around the comedy circuit: "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.'" Stern presses him a lot about how his wife, who knew about the lie, and his family went along with it for so long, but Rannazzisi is insistent that most people in his life, including his costars on The League, never really knew about the story, and have stood behind him since it came out.
Rannazzisi reveals he's been seeing a therapist (who only learned about the lie after it came out to the media) to try to work through his issues (which he identifies as codependence, narcissism, the need the please everyone), and he also thanked fellow comedian Pete Davidson for talking to him and not shunning him. He became the most emotional talking about his children, who are 3 and 6-years-old: "I hope no one takes it out on them," he said. "You can yell at me, you can scream at me, you can berate me, and I will sit there and take it."
If you don't have time to watch the full 40 minute video, you can read a detailed summary of it here.