A famous comedian perishes in a plane crash. Members of his management team, worried that they will be jobless, decide to find someone to take his place as their "meal ticket." Stanley Belt (Jerry Lewis) is a bellboy at their hotel and they decide he will become their next star.
Stanley has no obvious talent, but his new managers use their power to open doors for him, including an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. However, it quickly appears that Stanley will never develop any talent and the managers fire him just before he goes on stage. However, one of them, Ellen (Ina Balin), has fallen in love with Stanley and stays by his side.
Stanley becomes a hit on the show. The others from the management team come begging for their jobs back, to which Stanley magnanimously agrees.