Loosely based on the life of Carl Reiner, the story takes place in 1938 and focuses on a stage-struck, woman-loving young Jewish boy from New York named David Kolowitz. David works as a delivery boy in a sewing machine factory. His boss, Mr. Foreman wants to train him to take over the business. Meanwhile, David’s domineering parents want him to become a druggist. But David has other ideas – even though he has no experience, he dreams of being an actor. At his friend Marvin’s suggestion, David tries out for a part in a play, and somehow manages to get cast. Although discouraged by his parents and boss, he leaves their dreams and his devoted girlfriend Wanda behind and is soon performing as the “leading man” in a third-rate theatrical company while being seduced by the resident less-than leading lady, the daughter of the hammy “artistic director”. In his first performance, everything that can go wrong, does so in hilarious ways.