Eddie imagines himself back in ancient Rome where he uncovers corruption similar to his small town in this musical comedy choreographed by Busby Berkeley.
Eddie's clothes are found on statues in West Rome's new museum. Its builder Cooper pays off the mayor and chief of police. Eddie (Eddie Cantor) tells the people displaced by the new jail project to live there and sings "Build a Little Home." Eddie criticizes Cooper for building the museum and jail, but he is escorted out of town by the police.
Eddie finds himself in ancient Rome and is soon tied up for insulting Empress Agrippa. He is sold in the slave market to Josephus (David Manners), who calls him Oedipus. Olga (Ruth Etting) is to be sold and sings "No More Love." Naked women covered with their long hair are chained while other women dance. Josephus lets Oedipus handle his whip, accidentally knocking down the Majordomo (Alan Mowbray). Oedipus runs after the captured British princess Sylvia (Gloria Stuart) and is imprisoned. Emperor Valerius (Edward Arnold) wants his slave Olga back. A prisoner gives Oedipus lava gas to make him laugh. Josephus comes to free Sylvia and Oedipus, but Valerius makes him leave. Valerius tells Sylvia she must stay in prison until she desires him; she agrees to go to the palace when Valerius promises not to hurt her people. The lava gas affects Oedipus and then his torturers and the emperor. Valerius is about to drink with Agrippa (Verree Teasdale), but his food taster dies. Oedipus tells Valerius and Agrippa about America and wins with crooked dice. Valerius hires him as his food taster.
Josephus kisses Sylvia but is shot by an arrow in the arm. Agrippa summons Oedipus to her couch and wants him to poison Valerius. Valerius banishes Josephus, who tells Oedipus he will wait with a chariot for Sylvia. The Majordomo catches Oedipus trying to escape, but Oedipus pretends he can't be hurt. Oedipus hides in the women's quarters with black mud and gives Sylvia the message from Josephus. Oedipus and the women sing "Keep Young and Beautiful." Oedipus finds a corrupt agreement between Valerius and two senators. Agrippa tells Oedipus not to eat the poisoned bird. He sings "Put a Tax on Love" and feeds the crocodile first. Agrippa accuses Josephus and Sylvia of poisoning the food. Olga takes Sylvia to Josephus, while Valerius orders Oedipus thrown to the lions. Josephus rides off with Sylvia, and Oedipus escapes, trying to catch them to prevent Josephus being killed at Ostia. After a dramatic chariot race on the roads Eddie wakes up in America, finding Cooper's bribe to the police chief in his pocket.
This satire of various movies and the social mores of America and Rome uses humor, music, and pretty women in revealing costumes to keep the audience entranced.