Sheridan Whiteside, having dined at the house of the Stanley’s, slips on their doorstep, breaking his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow. The Stanley living room is monopolized by the irascible invalid; ex-convicts are invited to meals; and transatlantic calls are made that bring a $784 phone bill. The arrival of strange gifts from Whiteside’s friends further destroys domestic tranquility. The Stanley household now harbors penguins in the library, an octopus in the cellar, and 10,0000 cockroaches in the kitchen. When Maggie, Whiteside’s secretary, falls in love with Bert Jefferson, a local reporter, Whiteside summons a glamorous actress, Lorraine Sheldon, to win the affections of the young reporter. Knowing Lorraine’s charms, Maggie enlists the aid of a clever impersonator, Beverly Carlton, to affect the voice of Lord Bottomly, whom Lorraine hopes one day to marry. Using Bottomly’s voice, Beverly askes Lorraine to return to him in London for marriage. The ruse almost works but Whiteside becomes suspicious when he finds that no phone call have come from London. In revenge, Lorraine suggests a three-week rewrite of Bert’s play in which Lorriane feigns interest. The unexpected arrival of Lorraine’s nemesis, Banjo and a mummy case give Whiteside a way to help Maggie and get rid of Lorraine. Tricking Lorraine to step into the mummy case, Whiteside and Banjo slam shut the lid. Whiteside blackmails Mr. Stanley into having the case taken to the airport for an around-the-world cruise. After creating a happy ending, Whiteside is triumphantly departing from the Stanley home, only to again slip and fall.
Authors: Moss Hart and George Kauffman
The mummy case, which carried an important role in the production, was the handiwork and craftsmanship of Dr. C.R. Ahroon whose hobby was woodworking.