Although Krusty the Clown agrees to have dinner with the Simpson family as part of his repayment for Bart's help in exonerating him in the episode "Krusty Gets Busted", Krusty keeps canceling, much to Bart's disappointment. An upset Bart writes a letter to Krusty saying he is no longer his fan. Krusty's secretary is so moved by the letter that she angrily threatens to quit if Krusty does not keep his promise to Bart, finally persuading him to do so. Upon learning that Krusty is coming to the Simpson house for dinner, Milhouse comes along, to which Bart reluctantly allows. When asked to say grace, Krusty recites a Hebrew blessing. Realizing that Krusty is Jewish, Lisa speaks of his heritage, making Krusty break down in tears. After some convincing from the family to why he's so depressed about it, Krusty tells the family his real name, Herschel Krustofski, and describes his upbringing in the Lower East Side of Springfield.
His father, Hyman Krustofski, was a rabbi and strongly opposed young Herschel's wish to become a comedian; he wanted the boy to go to yeshiva instead. Krusty did attend the school, where he said he made the other students laugh by doing funny impressions of his father. As a result, Krusty became a slapstick comedian behind his father's back. One night, Krusty performed at a rabbi's convention and a rabbi squirted seltzer on him, washing off his clown makeup. Rabbi Krustofski, who was in the audience, was furious recognized him and disowned his son, and now it has been 25 years since they have seen or spoken to each other.
In the weeks following this admission, Krusty thinks about his father and becomes depressed, breaking down on live television after watching a father-son related Itchy and Scratchy cartoon. Bart and Lisa decide to help reunite father and son, but the rabbi still refuses to accept Krusty's career choice, explaining that Krusty "turned his back on their traditions, on their faith, and on him". They decide to try to outsmart the rabbi, and Lisa does research and finds Judaic teachings that urge forgiveness, but Rabbi Krustofski has responses for each of them out of stubbornness. In a last-ditch effort, Bart convinces the rabbi to realize his stubborn ways with a quote from Sammy Davis, Jr., a Jewish entertainer just like Krusty, in which the entertainer makes a passionate speech about the struggles that the Jewish people have overcome. This quote finally convinces Rabbi Krustofski that entertainers have a place in Jewish heritage. A deeply depressed Krusty is glumly doing a live telecast of his show, when Rabbi Krustofski appears. The two joyously hug and reconcile in front of the audience of children, with Rabbi Krustofsky accepting a cream pie from Bart and throwing it in his son's face.