Abner Peacock’s beloved bird-watcher’s magazine, The Peacock, is in financial crisis. Desperate to stay afloat, Abner takes on a new partner, Osborn Tremain (Edmond O’Brien), who has an agenda of his own: to publish a sexy gentleman’s magazine. This he and his wife Evelyn (Maureen Arthur) can only do by taking over Abner’s, since he himself has been convicted too often of sending obscene material through the mails.
Before the hapless bird-watcher can stop the Tremains, the first issue sells over 40 million copies and Abner becomes the unwilling spokesman for First Amendment rights. Swept up in adulation, the unwitting playboy quickly begins settling into the swinging bachelor lifestyle.