When Private Investigator for the famous Joe Mullen and his wife Suzanne brought their tiny (albeit adorable) 4 lb. puppy Shi-Bo home, one question needed exploring – what to name the pup? After Mullen mulled it over he flashed back to an entertaining night he spent back in the 1980’s at the 21 Club.
His good friend, and one of the finest comic mimics in the world, David Frye invited Mullen to meet him at the 21 Club. Mullen asked, “Who is going to be there?” Frye replied, “I want you to meet John Wayne. Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon and comedian Phyllis Diller will also all be there.” Mullen had trepidations about seeing Johnny Carson, since he was hired to do PI work by Carson’s lawyer. But Carson gave Mullen the green light and the night was on!
Mullen recalls, “David Frye is about 5’1” and height was very important to him. This particular night, David Frye was driving John Wayne crazy, asking how tall he was when he was young. John Wayne told him probably 100 times that he was 6’4”.”
That evening the subject continued to be an ongoing joke. with everyone getting in on the laughs. Whenever someone asked the bartender the time, he would reply, “6-4”. And when someone asked what’s the weather, the group responded, “6-4”. With even John Wayne chiming in, “David Frye is somewhat shorter than 6’4”.”
The case of “What to name the new dog?” was cracked when three years ago after picking up his new Shi-Bo, Mullen received a call from David Frye at his home in Vegas. Mullen recalls, “After I spoke with David Frye, I kept saying 4 lbs, 4 lbs (as in his pup’s weight), what should we call him and then I remembered the night everyone was partying and chanting 6’4” and that was it – the Duke!”
There’s more … 18 months after naming their Shi-Bo, Duke, the Mullens read a peculiar but fascinating news article. It seems some guy got caught with his own personal submarine looking at the Queen Mary/Queen Elizabeth boat. The authorities arrested the underwater explorer, named Duke Reilly.
“The press loved the story that Duke Reilly came in a sub to examine one of the Queens. From that day on we called Duke … Duke Reilly Mullen,” confirms Mullen. Canine case closed.