Another triumphant dose of weird-talking comedy genius from Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews
Toast is back for season 3 and it’s stranger than ever. We even get that madman Jon Hamm. Who?
I will not lie, this isn’t going to be an unbiased review. Toast of London is just about my favourite thing on TV. Ever since the pilot episode appeared in 2012 it’s been the only comedy for me.
The basic premise, for those unfortunates who have yet to see it, is that it follows possibly the world’s worst actor and all round terrible person, Steven Toast. Each season is a feast of his crazy amoral eccentricities. He’s a bigot and an arrogant idiot. But I love him so.
In series three, the supporting cast get bigger roles so there’s a lot more Harry Peacock as Ray ‘Bloody’ Purchase and Robert Bathurst as Ed Howzer-Black, who comes into his own as a fantastic pervert. Doon Mackichan’s Jane Plough (pronounced pluff) gets brilliantly weirder and weirder by the season too
The opening skits in the recording studio just keep getting funnier. Shazad Latif and Tim Downie are brilliant as Clem Fandango and Danny Bear, their outfits getting more ridiculous by the episode. When Toast organizes a sex change in the studio I was happily surprised to see Tom from Father Ted as the backstreet surgeon, though disappointed he didn’t get to say, “I’ve killed a man.”
Simple jokes work brilliantly well, naming Ed’s date Penvelope was much funnier than it should have been. I still chuckle about that now. Just saying “doctor of drumming” to my brother instantly makes him laugh. Usually when people mispronounce things or talk in an inherently silly way it’s annoying or childish, like Jonathan Ross for example, but when Matt Berry does it, it’s somehow fabulously funny. He has discovered untapped comedy gold and he is strip-mining it for all its worth.
If you look at the guests each season it shows how good Toast has become. Season one we got Michael Ball, Season two we had Josh Homme, but this season: Jon Hamm, Brian Blessed, Vic Reeves, and Paul Whitehouse to name but a few. Jon Hamm plays a spoof of himself brilliantly; I hope he really sleeps like that.
The surreal nature of the program has really blossomed lending it a real Bob Mortimer flavor. This of course makes a lot of sense as Berry and Mortimer are friends, however the question you keep asking yourself is, why isn’t Matt Berry more famous? He has to be the freshest comic about at the moment, not to mention his musical talent. All the musical interludes and incidental pieces are excellent, especially the Jon Hamm theme music.
If you haven’t seen Toast yet then I strongly recommend binge-watching all three series. Let’s see if you can watch the lot without telling someone your balls are fizzing afterwards.