Preston Blake, hoping to be a disc jockey as a young man, slowly worked his way up and founded Blake Media, a major corporation running hundreds of television and radio stations with 50,000 employees. After 82-year-old Blake freezes to death on the summit of Mount Everest with a triumphant smile on his face, a search for his heir begins.
It is found that Blake has a living nephew named Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler), who runs a pizzeria in New Hampshire and also writes and attempts to sell greeting cards to Hallmark. Deeds is contacted and brought to New York City by businessman Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), who is temporarily in control of Blake Media. Plans are made for Deeds to sell his shares in the company to Cedar and return home $40 billion richer, but he must remain in New York for a few days while all the legal details are worked out. He soon finds himself the president of the multi-million dollar corporation.