March 11, 2008
New York Times
North Hollywood, California. Camera bulbs flashed aplenty yesterday evening outside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, but this was no star-studded gala or blockbuster movie premiere. No, the press turned out in droves to see a press conference held by an unknown comedian and comedy writer–at least someone claiming to be such. The reason this PC attracted so much attention is that the person who has lived for 26 years as Mike Funt admitted, at last, to being in actuality Amelia Earhart.
Earhart went missing and was presumed dead since January 1939, during her attempt to be the first pilot to circumnavigate the globe. What actually happened, she explained during the press conference yesterday, is that she had grown weary of aviation and wanted to enter show business. “Comedy is a tough business for a woman,” said Earhart. “I knew I would never pull it off as a woman. So I landed my plane in Japan, purchased a new wardrobe, and flew back to the states.”
Earhart went on to explain that in her new identity as a man, she had no life experience from which to draw comedy. She decided to lay low for a while and find a family in which she could grow up as a male. Finally, in 1982 she discovered the Funt family in Tampa, Florida. They seemed dysfunctional enough to provide the appropriate mentality for a comedian. She approached the Funts with her plan, and after a $100,000 enticement, they agreed to raise her as their son.
Afraid that friends and neighbors in Tampa would become leery of a new baby when Mrs. Funt hadn’t even been pregnant, the Funts and their phony child moved to the small town of Newnan, just south of Atlanta in Georgia. Earhart did everything she could to make the experience as horrible as possible. She deliberately made herself a nerdy bookworm of a young boy, a dorky and socially awkward teenager, and saw to it that the Funts were divorced. She went out of her way to make her childhood and teen years as hellish as possible to provided the painful background and thirst for attention that all comedians need.
After achieving mild levels of success in various cities around the country, Earhart returned to her actual hometown of North Hollywood, where as Mike Funt, she finally met her goals of performing and writing comedy in Hollywood. However, being 111 years old and being so close to her original life finally put enough pressure on her to come clean. Earhart refused to comment on whether she would continue to write and perform as Funt.