Part of Williams’ self-delusion is that he’s some sort of ordinary Joe in touch with the real America. He nudges profiles to describe him as a “blue-collar Jersey guy.” His dad was an executive, not a coal miner. He fancies himself as in tune with the working men as he collects $10 million a year for successfully looking “troubled” or “sincere” or “amused” while reading 20 minutes of script off a prompter.

NBC, which had several other employees on the Chinook who apparently narked on Williams because nobody can stand this classic self-promoting ass (“He’s a real pompous piece of s–t,” a longtime colleague told Page Six), warned him from the beginning not to embellish the truth, and a source told Variety with pride that Williams’ tall tale was never featured on an NBC News program.

So he peddled his yarn elsewhere, gradually making himself sound more devil-may-care, to the point where, in a 2013 appearance on “Late Show” that Williams apparently timed for the 10th anniversary of his Iraq stint so he’d have an excuse to talk about it, he didn’t contradict David Letterman’s description of him as a “war hero.”

We should have known he was lying then; actual heroes hate being called heroes.