Pete is a sheltered suburbanite who dreams of being a stand-up comedian. When he finds out his wife is cheating on him, Pete's world unravels, forcing him to re-evaluate his priorities and plunging him into the deep end of the rough-and-tumble New York comedy scene.
After discovering his wife, Jessica, in a compromising position with another man, aspiring but unworldly stand-up comedian Pete flees to the New York comedy scene, where he crashes on other people's couches, in the process learning hard lessons about life and himself.
Aspiring comedian Pete finds himself without a home after he catches his wife being unfaithful. As Pete attempts to find solace at a New York comedy club, he befriends cynical comedy legend Artie Lange, who reluctantly offers him some pizza, some advice and a couch.
Pete wallows in his new reality, but Artie Lange snaps him out of it with an offer. Pete meets co-headliner T.J. Miller and attempts to save Artie from breaking his sobriety by getting between him and the temptations of an ardent fan.
Pete has the unsettling experience of witnessing a comic who can't "turn it off". Hearing from his wife, Jessica, Pete and T.J. Miller travel upstate to her yard sale, where Pete unexpectedly teams up with Jess' new boyfriend, Leif, to get back a prized possession.
In an effort to get stage time, Pete spends the night handing out fliers for a comedy club and finds himself encountering disinterested locals, befriending up-and-coming comics, engaging in a turf war with a rival "barker" and getting a pep talk from a veteran comedian.
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When Pete's parents decide to come to New York for his mother's birthday, Pete begs Jess to come along and keep up the charade of their marriage, but an incredibly tense dinner reveals harsh truths about their relationships, as Jess struggles to keep quiet.
Homeless once more and facing professional disappointment, Pete meets Sarah Silverman, who takes pity on him. When Sarah suggests that he try to find work as an audience "warm-up" comedian, Pete is presented with a job opportunity, where he's tasked with saving the day.
Pete's high from his new warm-up gig on Rachael Ray's show is interrupted by an unexpected visit from Leif's wife, who pulls him back into the chaos of his separation from Jess.
After an attempt to cheer up Pete goes wrong, Artie tags along with him to a baptism. Artie gets insight into religion and God from a woman, and Pete runs into Jess, which makes him question how much he is willing to sacrifice for a life in comedy.