"Rainbow" Randolph Smiley (Robin Williams) is a children's show host who loses his job after an FBI sting reveals he's been accepting brides to get children on his show.
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A replacement, Sheldon Mopes (Ed Norton), is brought in to replace him with his character "Smoochy the rhino."
In an effort to regain his show, Randolph begins plotting ways to ruin Mopes' reputation. As this happens, Mopes' flirts and fights with his producer Nora (Catherine Keener), eventually sparking up a romance - enraging Randolph more, because Nora is his ex-girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Mopes' agent (Danny Devito) fights with Mopes over his refusal to do an ice show, from which he would have skimmed lots of profit. Mopes agrees on the condition the profits go to a drug rehab facility. The agent then hires a hit man to take him out - hoping to replace him with someone more malleable.
Smoochy the Rhino begins to perform his ice show, unaware that both a hit man and an unhinged Rainbow Randolph are plotting his demise simultaneously.