Turn-of-the-century magician Presto DiGiotagione is famous for a hat trick wherein he pulls his rabbit Alec Azam out of his top hat.
After Presto returns to his dressing room from eating a meal, he begins practicing his act with Alec, revealing that the top hat is magically connected to a wizard's hat kept in the dressing room with Alec, so that when Presto reaches into the top hat, his hand appears out of the wizard's hat, allowing him to grab Alec and pull him out of the top hat. He intends to feed Alec a carrot, but realizes that he is late for the show and rushes onto the stage without doing so.
Presto tries to start the performance, but Alec has reached his limit and refuses to cooperate until he is given the carrot. Presto then spends the rest of the show trying to catch Alec through the opening between his top hat and the wizard's hat.
Alec cleverly turns the hat's magic against his master in painful and humiliating ways, such as putting the magician's finger in a mouse trap and later into an electrical socket (which causes him to dance wildly) and having his head sucked into a vacuum kept offstage. On the other hand, Presto antagonizes Alec by turning one carrot into a flower and smashing another into pulp (causing Alec to retaliate with the electric socket). The audience interprets these shenanigans as part of the act and applauds with increasing approval.
Eventually, Presto can take no more and chases Alec backstage, catching his foot in a rope that lifts him up to the fly space above the stage when he mistakenly releases the weights holding down some stage props. When his foot comes loose from the rope, he falls, along with a piano and some suspended scenery. Alec, realizing that Presto will be crushed, uses the magic hat to save him, earning the audience's wild approval for both himself and Presto. Presto gives Alec the carrot (and many more), as well as second billing on the posters advertising the act.
- The character design for Presto was based on William Powell.