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When prison inmate Schenectady learns that his uncle has died and left him the Hotel Ethiopia, he falls asleep and dreams of the hotel: He goes to work as a bellhop and elevator operator and makes his prison buddy Wallingford his assistant. Next, a maid comments that nothing ever happens at the hotel, and Schenectady notices that the hotel is a strange place. Among the visitors is a man in white tails with a gorilla, a headless man carrying his head, a stiletto thrower and a reappearing invisible man. A magician frightens Schenectady by producing a goldfish bowl around his head, and a "lonesome ranger" enters riding a goat. Brutus Blake, who holds some of the many mortgages on the hotel, wants to get the money to buy the establishment, and contests Schenectady's claim. Later, Brutus tears up the floors and walls searching for hidden gold. After scaring the chambermaid, Brutus is chased by the gorilla and by his wife, who has arrived unexpectedly. He meets the hotel's attractive beautician, Lady Queenie, on whom he uses all his romantic charm. Just as things begin to get wild, Schenectady is awakened by the jailer, and his dream ends. Wallingford suggests that they go to the hotel when they are released from prison, but Schenectady says that he has just been there and wants nothing more to do with it.