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Steve Rannazzisi Says He Was There When Daniel Johnston Recorded “Hi How Are You?’

CHICAGO — Comedian and actor Steve Rannazzisi lent condolences to fans of beloved songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston, who died late Tuesday night of a heart attack at the age of 58, all the while hinting that he was present for the making of Johnston’s 1983 lo-fi cassette tape classic “Hi, How Are You?”

“I was six years old and living in Texas for the summer… Danny and I were neighbors,” said Rannazzisi in an interview with Chicago radio station KDVC. “The first words he ever said to me were “Hi, how are you? I’m Daniel, and I’m going to be famous.’ We became friends and I was in that basement when he recorded ‘Walking The Cow,’ ’Hey Joe,’ and ‘No More Pushing Joe Around.’”

The former “The League” star doubled down, claiming to have co-written a song with Johnston.

“Dan was having a rough day and I’d said to him something my grandfather said to me when we’d get emotional. I said ‘Get yourself together, or fall apart,’” the visibly shaken comic recalled. “He immediately pushed ‘record’ and sang that into the boombox. I said ‘That’s gonna be a good song,’ and he said ‘What do you mean? I just did it. There it is.’”

Rannazzisi then spoke on Johnston’s unlikely influence on modern music.

“I had no idea he’d ever get this far, but he did,” he said. “To me was just my weird neighbor who I became best friends and songwriting partners with. Two years later, he’s on MTV.”

The comedian’s claims were swiftly debunked after the lightest research.

“So, you were six years old and living in Texas, but you were just on a podcast saying you grew up exclusively in New York,” said Darren Royer, calling out Rannazzisi mid-interview. “Also, you were there for the summer and yet that album was recorded in September 1983?”

Rannazzisi stammered something about It being an “Indian summer” before folding and apologizing profusely.