Peter Ingersoll (Jerry Lewis) is about to undergo an operation at a hospital in Chile. Before beginning, the medical staff insists that he explain how his unusual condition came about.
He recalls his past life in California as an insurance salesman. His best friend, Dr. Scott Carter (Peter Lawford), breaks the news that Peter only has a short time left to live. His wife (Anne Francis), although distraught, tells Peter to take the fishing excursion he has always dreamed of, advising him to charge it to credit cards. He runs up a bill of $100,000.
While traveling abroad, Peter is contacted by Dr. Carter and told that he was misdiagnosed and isn’t dying. Now burdened with a large debt, Peter is urged by Dr. Carter to fake his death to avoid paying the bills and so his wife can collect a $150,000 life insurance policy. After seven years, when the statute of limitations is up, he can reappear.
Peter discovers that the whole thing was a scheme concocted by his wife and doctor, who are having an affair. He proceeds to wreck their plans.
However, while fishing in Chile, he ends up in that unusual predicament on that operating table … with a marlin swordfish piercing his chest.