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In New York City's Bowery, when Horace DeBussy "Sach" Jones and his pal, Stanislaus "Duke" Coveleskie, find a feisty little boy trying to steal their old jalopy, they take him to the boardinghouse where they live. Mrs. Kelly, their kindly landlady, is immediately sympathetic to the boy, who claims to be an abused orphan whose parents died in a blizzard. Mrs. Kelly, a devoted follower of a popular television serial, remarks that there was a similar story recently on the show, then proceeds to make the boy a hot meal. Although Duke is skeptical of the boy's story, he, Sach and friends Chuck and Myron use the money from Sach's piggybank to buy the boy some fresh clothes. Meanwhile, at the Consolidated Television Network, executive P. M. Morley has placed a call to police captain Wells to inform him that child star Joey Munroe is missing. A short time later, the little boy insults Mrs. Kelly's cooking and scoffs at the new suit Sach bought. Just then, two policemen arrive at the door looking for Joey. The boy acknowledges that he is Joey, but says that he was kidnapped by Sach and the others. At the police station, when a concerned P. M. and Joey's uncle, George Slater, arrive to take him home, Joey relates a dramatic tale of his "kidnapping." When P. M. recognizes it as the plot of next week's script, Joey confesses that he ran away because he never has any fun or time off. P. M. then apologizes to the boys and Mrs. Kelly, but Sach and Duke threaten to sue and loudly criticize him and Slater for not letting Joey be a normal boy. P. M. agrees that they have been wrong and invites Sach and Duke to the station to see the new show. The next day, Joey has a tantrum about the new script and refuses to perform until Sach and Duke look at it and enthusiastically say that his fans will love it. P. M. is impressed with the influence Sach and Joey have with Joey and offers them jobs as the company's 34th and 35th vice-presidents in charge of inter-relational activities. They readily accept and soon are enjoying a large office and the charms of their voluptuous blonde secretary, Connie Forbes, who is Slater's girl friend. Joey, who is happy to have two friends and looks forward to going fishing with them at the end of the television season, is crestfallen when his greedy uncle announces that they have just signed a new contract to extend the show through the summer. Some time later, Slater, Connie and their cohort Karl try to think of a way to curtail Sach and Duke's influence over Joey. Because P. M. likes Sach and Duke, Karl suggests that they invite the boys to a party at the home of the show's sponsor, soap tycoon B. L. Taylor, where they will assuredly make fools of themselves and force P. M. to fire them. Even though Sach's uncouth ways and unintended insults to the Taylors cause problems at the party, B. L. finds his honesty refreshing. His admiration for Sach eventually wanes, though, when Sach cracks a raw egg on B. L.'s head while trying to duplicate a magic trick set up by Connie. The next day, P. M. is distraught that B. L. will not talk to him and tells Slater that he has no choice but to fire Sach and Duke. After they are fired, Duke privately admits to Sach that P. M. was right about their being a bad influence on Joey, who might grow up to be a "mug" like them if they stayed. That same day, when Slater lashes out at Joey for reading a comic book instead of his new script, Joey refuses to go on with the show and threatens to tell everyone that B. L.'s soap is terrible. After Joey storms off to his room, Slater tells Connie that if the show is cancelled an accounting will reveal that he embezzled $80,000. Slater suggests that if Joey disappeared for real, P. M. would pay anything to get him back, after which Karl says that he has friends who could arrange something. Unknown to them, Joey has packed his things and slipped down the fire escape to head for Mrs. Kelly's boardinghouse. Although it is very late, Sach is up having a snack and is happy to see Joey, who says he wants to stay with him. In the kitchen, as Sach is getting something for Joey to eat, some pots and pans fall, awakening everyone else in the house. Concerned that this time the police will think that they had kidnapped Joey, Duke pretends to be tough and tells the boy that he and Sach were only friendly toward him to get their jobs. Sach reluctantly agrees and telephones Slater to tell him that Joey is at the boardinghouse. A short time later, Karl arrives to take Joey home, but when Sach sadly looks through the window at the departing boy, he sees two thugs force Joey into a car. Sach and Duke then go to Slater's house to see if Joey is there and tell the others to call the police if they are not back within an hour. Sach and Duke eventually are found by Karl, Slater and Connie, who then tie them up and put then into Joey's closet. With $100,000 in ransom money promised by a worried P. M., Connie suggests that they take the money and head for Mexico, but first they have to go to the warehouse where Joey is being held. After they leave, Myron and Chuck arrive and untie Sach and Duke. They then follow Karl, Connie and Slater to the warehouse. At the warehouse, with Joey's help, Sach and Duke best the henchmen in a fight, and the police arrest Slater and the others. Some time later, as Joey, Duke and Sach happily prepare for a fishing trip they are taking with Joey, P. M. announces he has been appointed Joey's guardian. Joey gives him a hug and thanks him for finding a summer replacement for his show. P. M. then introduces Sach and Duke to his little cowboy star Annie, who shows them that her six-guns are loaded¿with water.