Xanthan Gumm, or Xanth for short, is about to land on the forbidden planet called Earth. He has dreamed of going to this planet for years, a planet where mysterious creatures called Humans make the best form of entertainment in the galaxy - The Movies!
Xanth crash lands in a city called Chicago, far from Hollywood. An army general named Les S. Moore sees the ship on radar and vows to find the alien invader. Xanth is befriended by a homeless man named Al. Al takes Xanth to a basement where he and some other homeless people sleep. They watch a video of "E.T." with Chinese subtitles.
General Moore flies to Chicago to hunt the alien. He also visits his ninety year old mother. She thinks that Eisenhower is still president.
Al teaches Xanth how to panhandle. They make a good team because Xanth can pose as Al's sickly son. When Al drinks too much and passes out in an alley, Xanth gets help from a young man. The young man calls his friends and they all trash the video store above the basement.
General Moore is frustrated when mysterious agents in brown suits take away Xanth's spaceship. He flies to Washington D.C. to meet with the committee that selects America's next enemy.
Xanth helps the elderly owner of the video store foil the young hoods even though he doesn't know how to dial a telephone.
The next day, a reporter for "The National Babbler" tells Xanth that he has heard that Xanth's ship is being held on the south side of the city.
Al and Xanth head towards the south side, hoping to find the ship.
General Moore is sleeping in his mother's house when two Ggnorphodors, aliens who like to pull practical jokes, wake him up and tell him where Xanth's ship is. The general takes a bus to the south side, hoping to find the ship.
This report prepared by Robin Reed