Ollie can’t find his hat and is now throwing a tantrum, taking it out on his wife and their housekeeper, because obviously one of them must have moved it someplace. Ollie has looked everywhere but where the hat actually is, on the top of his head where he had put it on. While the housekeeper finds this amusing his wife does not appreciate being accused of losing the hat. As Ollie passes by a mirror he spots the hat on his head, and looking around to see that no one is looking quickly takes it off and hides it. Telling his wife that he will look for the hat one more time and making a vague threat should it not be found he walks into the next room, returning a few seconds later brushing the hat off and pretending he just found it under the bed. His wife’s Patience worn out she demands that he go up on the roof and put up an antenna for their radio.
Meanwhile Stan is on his way over for a visit, nearly wrecking his car when he turns his head to watch a young lady lifting up her skirt to cross a puddle. Stan pulls up in the driveway and honks his horn as Ollie is halfway up the ladder causing it to fall. Stan wants to spend the day with Ollie, but Ollie tells him that he has to put the antenna up first, claiming sarcastically that his wife wants to pick up radio stations in China. Stan says he would also like to listen to some Chinese radio stations and offers to help. Ollie agrees to this, but ads a provision that Stan actually helps.
While attempting to back the car up Stan causes it to backfire sending a flame onto Ollie’s behind setting it on fire. Grabbing a bucket and filling it full of water from Ollie’s decorative lily pad pool he manages to soak Ollie entirely wile missing the part where the fire was. Outraged Ollie grabs the bucket and hurls it at Stan, which misses and breaks right through his window hitting his wife. The wife retaliates by clunking Ollie over the head with a frying pan. Deciding to get back to the antenna Ollie puts the ladder onto the back seat of Stan’s car to give it more height and then he and Stan climb up onto the roof. Once up there Ollie tells Stan that he has brought up everything they need and will not have to go back down for a thing. Since Stan is holding the poles Ollie asks him to insert one at the end of the roof. While doing this Stan leaves the other poles on the roof causing Ollie to trip over them and fall off the roof, landing in the lily pad pool. Stan finishes hanging the pole and then turns around to notice Ollie is missing. Looking over the side he calls down to Ollie and asks him “What did you go back down for?” Ollie climbs back up onto the roof only for Stan to trip him up with the antenna wire and send him back down into the pool again. Not wanting to fall off the roof a third time Ollie ties one end of a rope around the chimney an the other end around him. But Stan gets tangled in the rope and both of them go falling off the roof together, pulling the chimney down behind them and causing a shower of bricks to follow them into the pool.
Ollie decided the problem here is allowing Stan on the roof in the first place and orders him into the living room. While Ollie hangs the antenna on the roof he passes down the wire and orders Stan to attach the other end to the radio. Stan attaches it to the wrong binding post electrifying the wire and shocking Ollie, which causes him to fall backwards through the hole where the chimney once was. Ollie falls into the living room fireplace followed by another shower of bricks. Being fed up with all of the accidents the radio has caused so far his wife tells him to forget about putting the antenna up, but now Ollie is determined to finish the job and begins to climb up the ladder again. Stan starts to follow but accidentally steps on the car’s gas pedal sending it and the ladder in the back seat with Ollie on top racing out of the driveway.
Stan desperately attempts to save the day by holding the ladder upright with one hand while trying to steer the car with his other hand, never thinking to take his foot off the pedal. After driving through the neighborhood with Ollie screaming on the top of the ladder it finally drops to the ground, but only after it rested on the side of a double decker bus and instead of climbing on to safety Ollie took the time to tip his hat to the passengers and say a polite but nervous “Hello”. Ollie’s wife comes running over in tears. When Ollie tells her that he is alright she tells him she is not crying about his accident but because the radio has been repossessed by revenue agents. The trio attempt to drive back to Ollie’s house but Stan’s car is now stalled. While trying to start it up they are rammed by a trolley that sandwiches it into the trolley in front of it.
The ending gag of the radio being repossessed is a callback to The Bacon Grabbers, one of Laurel and Hardy’s final silent movies which had been released a year earlier. In that movie Laurel and Hardy had played agents for the sheriff’s office who repossessed Edgar Kennedy’s radio. In the late 1920’s radios were so expensive that no one could expect to buy one with the money they had in the bank. Stores offered to sell them on a payment plan where you would gradually pay off the price in installments. Miss one payment and the store could order the radio repossessed, selling it to another customer despite the fact the former customer had already made some payments. In 1930 the Great Depression was just beginning and several thousand Americans suddenly did not have the money to make their radio payments. Hog Wild was one of the few thrill movies made by Laurel and Hardy. While the roof scenes were nowhere as thrilling as the skyscraper scenes in the movie Liberty, the scene with Ollie racing through the streets on the top of the ladder was the best action scenes the duo filmed. Hog Wild is among Laurel and Hardy’s funniest movies with only one scene that drags. It happens at the end of the movie when Stan is unable to start his car. For a couple of minutes we watch as he fiddles with the controls, causing the car to backfire several times. This is a scene that Stan Laurel could have edited far shorter tightening up the movie. It was probably kept in because the studio would have wanted a quota of sound gags which this scenes provide.