By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
His worst job ever? "There was that Renaissance fair," Hickey obliged. "And remember the Cadillac Bar on 21st Street? I was a waiter there in the '80s when tequila was new, as well as every possible drug. I subsisted on shooters—tequila and 7-Up. The place got so famous so fast, we were overwhelmed." Did he get lots of tips, at least? "It wasn't just tips," he said. "We'd take $50 from customers and forget to put it in the computer sometimes. I put my hand in the Mexican till!" Fill in the joke.
Visions of tequila and 7-Up shooters brought me to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame annex for a private viewing of Elvis Presley memorabilia being auctioned by Gotta Have It, with no Susan Lucci photos for miles. The most interesting piece was a poem Elvis wrote on his own stationery, a charmingly sadistic gem he used as his outgoing answering-machine message. It's about a robin chirping on Elvis's windowsill, who "sang his sweet song so sweetly and paused for a moment's lull/I gently raised the window and crushed his fucking skull." Beep.
Yet one more time-tunnel trip beckoned when I got invited to a Big Apple Conventions–hosted "Lewis family celebration" with Jerry's real Jerry's kids. I got to meet Suzan Lewis, 57, who had a breakdown when she was told at 24 that Jerry Lewis was her dad (wouldn't you?) and ended up legally disabled, homeless, and living in her car in Florida until recently. (Hey, lady!) Plus there was Jerry's son, singer Gary Lewis, who complied with Inside Edition's idea to DNA-test him and Suzan, resulting in an 88.7 percent match—though one look at Suzan's Lewis-like face and you don't even need to take swabs.
"I don't know why he won't acknowledge this," Gary told me about his goofball dad. "There's nothing to lose." Maybe he doesn't want to remind the world that he cheated on Gary's mom? "But he was a tremendous womanizer," said Gary. "My mom told me all the time." He probably frequented the Mattress Room!