Barney O'Hara runs a sideshow act in a touring carnival with Pat, his daughter, and Horace Worthington Howard, an ex-Shakespearean actor. The act struggles to make money, and Pat's voice is one of the main attractions.
When Pat's voice fails her at a party held by Colonel Cameron and his daughter Eve, to which she has been invited as a performer, a specialist tells Barney an expensive operation is necessary.
With few options for raising the money, Barney agrees to fight a boxer called 'The Killer', a fight for which he is trained by dancer Kitty Katkin. On fight day, ants are slipped into Barney's shorts, and he defeats the Killer, winning the money that will pay for Pat's operation.