A construction worker and jazz player conflicted by his responsibilities and his desire to really show off his talent, Duke tries to make work more fun by bringing a little bit of music and rhythm into it.
Whenever traveling, he always seems to be in a hurry whether running late for work or rushing to the jazz club to play.
Duke was sleeping in his apartment and by the time he was wide awake, he was very late. He drank milk, stole a donut, and hitched a ride on the newspaper van. At the construction site, he got out a jackhammer by nailing down the nuts on steel and when he took a break, he got out some more nuts and had them crushed by a huge hammer.
Whenever he got bored, he dreamed himself skating and drumming. Afterwards, he used two drumsticks and drummed everywhere in the construction site. He didn't know what to do and flung the hat to Jobless Joe. He rushed to the taxi stop, called for one, but missed it. Although, he used the scooter, got on the subway, and dashed into the jazz club just in time where he began to play his drums with the other bandmembers.
- From all the protagonists of "Rhapsody in Blue", Duke is technically the only one who wasn't on a serious or unpleasant situation: he had an stable job during the Great Depression and was possibly well paid, whereas Jobless Joe needed to find a job, Rachel felt neglected by her parents and Flying John wanted to free himself of his wife's dominance over him. In contrast, Duke just left his job out for the sake of having more fun and displaying his musical talents.
- From a certain point of view, it can be said that Duke is responsible for improving the lives of his fellow protagonists despite never meeting them: his resignation as a construction worker led Jobless Joe to be hired on his place and his accidental act of bouncing Rachel's ball alerted Rachel's parents about her daughter's alarming situation. And it was thanks to Jobless Joe's hiring as Duke's replacement that Killjoy Margaret was accidentally scooped up away from Flying John, freeing him from her bossiness.
- Several cabs passing Duke as he tries hailing one, might be a reference to a common belief that cab drivers won't stop for African-Americans.