Imagine a successful stand-up comedian...who’s only twelve years old!
In a family comedy entitled: “Kid Comedy,” Jake Patterson, a sixth-grade funny man, enjoys a meteoric rise from junior-high talent show to the Las Vegas stage, with stops along the way at comedy clubs, concerts, and even an appearance on The Tonight Show. Despite success, the 12-year-old must avoid the traps of a ruthless, unforgiving industry.
A pet owner and lover, Jake Patterson, master to two dogs, a cat, a hamster, a turtle, a frog, a parrot and a rabbit, is a closet comic. Only his closest friends know that Jake performs a daily stand-up routine in the privacy of his bedroom, before a wild but faithful audience—his pet menagerie. Jake’s shtick—animal jokes—and he can only write new material when surrounded by furry creatures. He dreams of someday becoming, not a comic, but a veterinarian. Jake is forced, however, to rethink his career aspirations when his grades begin to slide.
That decision is made easier when he reluctantly agrees to appear in the school talent show. Rave reviews follow. He is soon recruited to perform at a local comedy club. Jake initially resists but Roland Dobbs, an unscrupulous club owner, persuades the youngster to cooperate in order to help his mother, a single parent, pay off mounting family bills. Under the guise of a caring promoter, Dobbs pockets the better part of Jake’s earnings, and dupes his mom into signing an exclusive management contract.
As Jake’s club dates mount, his grades tumble. His dreams of becoming a vet soon begin to fade. His success at a local Battle of the Comics catches the attention of a Tonight Show producer, and a national television appearance follows. But all the while, Jake yearns for a return to non-celebrity status, and to a faithful, furry and less demanding audience in his bedroom at home.
When his mother learns that Jake has been performing, not for his own pleasure, but to help defray household costs, she immediately suggests that he abandon the limelight. He enthusiastically accepts, but his manager has made other plans. Roland Dobbs has booked the youngster as the new opening act for an aging lounge singer in Las Vegas. Jake decides to tough it out while his mother seeks legal advice in an effort to break the contract.
In Las Vegas, without the inspiration of his pets, Jake develops a severe case of writer’s block. The days are long. The nights are longer. When he is befriended by Karen Demming, a pretty Keno runner working her way through law school at UNLV, he is hopeful things will improve. And when she introduces him to Felix, an African Grey parrot in residence at the casino, his inspiration returns. He once again cranks out killer material, and wows the audience. But when the bird mysteriously disappears, his routines soon sour. And when his manager loses patience with the youngster’s ineffectiveness, Jake turns to Karen for help.
With the assistance from one of her law school professors, Karen uncovers flaws in the contract and vows to help Jake return home. She buys him an airline ticket, puts him in a cab and sends him on his way. But Roland Dobbs is not about to let his golden gosling escape. Following a harrowing airport chase, Dobbs corrals the youngster, and nearly eludes authorities, but is soon apprehended by police. Outstanding warrants for bribery, forgery and tax fraud guarantee that this despot will never exploit another youngster. Jake soon returns home, assumes the role of dutiful student, and accepts a job at a local animal hospital where he once again entertains hordes of drooling, scratching, flea-bitten, adoring fans.