He first appeared in the comic story A Whale of an Adventure (Donald Duck #112, March 1967), when he rescues Donald Duck, whose inflatable water-mattress has drifted out to sea. Donald briefly served as his first mate, but was soon replaced by Dim-Witty Duck. Never far away is Moby's loyal pet porpoise, Porpy (whose intelligence is obviously far greater than Dim-Witty's). Moby has a remarkable knowledge of the sea, which serves him well. He is also scrupulously honest and responsible.
Moby Duck made his animated debut in the Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color episode "Pacifically Peeking" (October 6, 1968). He was voiced by Paul Frees, whose Disney roles notably included Donald's uncle Ludwig Von Drake. Moby's popularity skyrocketed and he got a major starring role in his own comic book series starting in October 1967.
In the early 2000s, Moby was given his own series of Disney comics in Italy, called Le storie della Baia (Stories from the Bay). In this series, Moby has lost his sailing boat in a storm and teams up with Fethry Duck, with whom he gets involved in grand adventures. Here, Moby was also given a new animal friend called Trippa (literally meaning Tripe), an unusually hungry seagull, and many new friends who help him and Fethry on their journeys. In addition, Moby was given two arch-enemies: the rich Azimuth Von Quack and his dimwitted servant Sagola. In this series, his hair is grey instead of ginger.
- Various websites carry the mistake that Moby's pet is a tortoise, the result of a misreading since it is actually a porpoise.
- His name is a pun on Moby Dick, the white whale from Herman Melville's 1851 novel of the same name.