The Joker is Wild is a 1957 biographical film about the Chicago night scene during the Prohibition Era. It chronicles the soul-searching journey of Joe Lewis (Frank Sinatra), who has established and made a reputation for himself as a night club performer and singer. All of this changes when Lewis has a run in with the mob. He refuses to work for the corrupt gangsters, and he is beaten and disfigured. Suddenly and disastrously, Lewis discovers that his singing career is over. The protagonist gradually realizes that his only other skill is his evolving dark sense of humor, and he enlists again in Chicago's night scene, this time as a comedian. However, Lewis' dark sense of humor is not the only thing that has developed in response to tragedy. Lewis' lifestyle becomes increasingly destructive and dangerous, and Lewis realizes that he needs to make changes in his life in order to move on.