This charming tale is about a young girl's father and his slightly erratic behavior after sampling a refreshing alcoholic beverage. Although Papa Jack Griffith (Jackie Gleason) never appears to be drunk, his "delicate condition" is well known to his family. His wife is definitely unhappy over his penchant but loves him just the same. He is adored by his youngest daughter, six year old Corinne (Linda Bruhl). When he tries to buy a pony for Corinne, he not only gets the pony but the entire broken down, debt ridden circus as well. This is too much for wife Ambolyn (Glynis Johns), who packs up the kids and heads for her father's house in Texarkana. Jack follows with the entire circus in pursuit to take his loving family back home. He also hoodwinks some local investors to put money into a proposed drug store, thereby circumventing a blue law that forbids the sale of alcohol. Gleason's performance contain many fine moments that run the full spectrum of human emotions and clearly illustrates why he has deservedly been referred to as "The Great One."