Like a few others in this series, this is only tangentially a Laurel & Hardy film. It's actually a Max Davidson short, the second I've seen after Jewish Prudence, a very funny, well-constructed film I looked at back in February of last year. This is a much looser film, it feels more like the gang at the Hal Roach Studios just goofing around than a sophisticated comedy classic. Credited as director is Clyde Bruckman, a frequent Buster Keaton collaborator (The General, Our Hospitality, Sherlock Jr among others) making what (as far as I can tell is) his Roach debut, or at least his first film with Laurel & Hardy, shortly before Keaton made his disastrous move to MGM. The film has a lot in common with an early Buster Keaton short, One Week, which as far as I know Bruckman was not involved with in anyway.
Davidson plays an exasperated father who wants to sell his house so he, his wife, and their son can escape from the lunatics who live next door. A title card asserts that these guys, played by a Roach Murderer's Row of Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase and James Finlayson, are training to be radio broadcasters, "the quicker they go daffy, the sooner they get a diploma". I'm unsure how literally that's supposed to be taken, but it doesn't matter, the point is the four of them are incredibly annoying, making terrible jokes with bottom-of-the-barrell slapstick, the kind you'd expect from any random morning DJ pair (do they still have those?). The four cuckoos aren't supposed to be funny and at that they succeed: their performance is as much a parody of terrible slapstick comics as it is of the radio. Seltzer bottles, a William Tell bit (Hardy gets shot in the ass), ridiculous outfits (Laurel wears his suspenders criss-crossed, Chase wears an over-sized sailor suit with a monocle), terrible intertitle puns and so on.
One Week, in which Buster Keaton assembles a house using a corrupted set of instructions creating an architectural monstrosity which devolves in hilarious fashion, is one of the most brilliant works in silent comedy, if not all of film history, so this can be forgiven for not reaching that high standard of perverse home destruction. But I do think this could have been funnier. Davidson doesn't really do much, he's mostly confined to reaction shots (either shrugging his shoulders and scratching his chin, or bringing his palm to his cheek Jack Benny-style). Laurel, Hardy, Chase and Finlayson are pretty much relegated to cameos: the film's structure isolates the funniest actors from the funniest prop (the house). Even still, it looks like everyone involved had a blast making it, which is enough.