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Presto


Vaudeville era magician Presto DiGiotagione is famous for a hat trick wherein he pulls his rabbit Alec Azam out of his top hat. A hungry and irritated Alec is locked in a cage, unable to reach hiscarrot.After Presto returns from eating a meal, he begins practicing his act with Alec, revealing that his top hat is magically connected to a wizard's hat kept backstage with Alec. Anything that passes into either hat will emerge from the other.


Intending to feed Alec, Presto realizes that his show is starting and rushes onstage instead. Alec refuses to cooperate with the act and turns the hats against Presto in a variety of ways that lead to escalating degrees of humiliation, such as letting him catch his finger in a mousetrap, hit himself in the eye with an egg, and get his head sucked into a ventilation shaft; each of these mishaps is interpreted by the audience as being part of the act. Presto continues to antagonize Alec at the same time, first turning the carrot into a flower and later smashing it to pulp with a piece of a ladder, the latter resulting in Presto receiving an electrical shock by getting his hand stuck in an electrical socket.


Fed up with Alec's behavior, Presto storms backstage after him, but accidentally releases a set of hanging stage props and gets his foot caught in a rigging rope. He is yanked up into the fly space above the stage; when his foot comes loose, he falls again and finds himself in danger of being crushed by both the props and a falling piano. Realizing this, Alec uses the hats' magic to save him, earning the audience's wild approval for him and Presto, who gratefully gives him his carrot (having used his magician skills to return it to its original form) and starts to give him second billing on the posters advertising the act.

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