Gerald R. Ford was the vice president to President Richard Nixon.
He had met The Comedian during a banquet held in honor for his service for the U.S. A picture of them shaking hands is found in the murdered man's apartment by homicide detective Joe Bourquin of the NYPD. He and Steven Fine joked whether they should consider him a suspect for Blake's murder.
In reality, Gerald R. Ford (1913-2006) was 38th President of the United States (1974-1977) and, earlier, fortieth Vice President of the United States (1973-1974).
His stumbling in the book was a comic nod to his clumsiness.