Mack & Mabel depicts the days of the silent film era "when movies were movies". Based on the real life story of the director, Mack Sennett, and his star and lover, Mabel Normand. Narrated in flashback by Mack himself, he begins the show a broken man. His beloved silent two-reel comedies are no longer hit with the audiences in the late 1930s. The silent film industry has been made obsolete by talkies and Mack is forced to sell his Hollywood studio. Alone on the stage, he reminisces about the past, recalling his early days in New York, his rising success in Hollywood, and his turbulent love affair with Mabel. Mack discovered Mabel when she was just a sandwich delivery girl and made her a star. Although he loves her deeply, he cannot bring himself to fully commit to her. Frustrated and humiliated, Mabel is driven into the arms of William Desmond Taylor, an unsympathetic director who leads her into a life of drugs and partying.