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Matt Berry is the Toast of London
December 31, 2013 8:40 AM   Subscribe

Toast Of London stars Matt Berry (IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place) as troubled theatre actor Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it. With a recent divorce, a highly controversial play to perform every night, a shell shocked army officer for a brother and an audition in a prison - it’s turning into another very busy day for Toast in this, the pilot episode for the Channel 4 series. [SLYT] [NSFW]

The supporting cast is a classic line up of British acting talent: Robert Bathurst (Downton Abbey, Cold Feet), Adrian Lukis (Pride & Prejudice, Peak Practice) Tracy-Anne Oberman (Big Train, Eastenders), Fiona Mollison (Strangers, Sweeny, Hollyoaks), Geoffrey McGivern (Hitchhikers Guide, Hyperdrive, World Of Pub) and Harry Peacock (Star Stories, The Ladykillers).

All six episodes and the pilot are available on the Channel 4 website. They cannot be viewed (directly) in the U.S. but Episode 5 is on YouTube.

The pilot on Vimeo.
posted by Room 641-A (25 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
I totally love Matt Berry. I can't wait to check these out!

Also, for those who haven't heard his vocal stylings, do check out his three albums: Opium, Witchazel, and Kill the Wolf. He's quite talented, and you can't always tell when he's taking the piss with these songs.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:04 AM on December 31, 2013 [8 favorites]


Matt Berry also did a radio show called I, Regress recently that is very funny.

I was not wowed by Toast. I can't explain it other than to say that it seemed forced somehow. Almost it seems like it's more of a role for someone less glamorous? Glamorous is the wrong word, but it is the closest word I can think of to explain my reaction.
posted by winna at 9:24 AM on December 31, 2013


Matt Berry seems to come from the BRIAN BLESSED school of acting which is awesome we need more enormous hams in the acting profession. Hell I could actually see Berry playing Vultan in a Flash Gordon remake.
posted by vuron at 9:24 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


He should really be reading every audiobook out there.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:34 AM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh also, the theme song for Toast of London is the excellent "Take My Hand" from Witchazel. Great song, great video.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:44 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it was gold, but it was bronze. No, I was mistaken, Toast of London is gold. His recurring "who?" reactions kill me a little more than they should.
posted by detachd at 10:28 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


My favorite joke is like right off the bat in the pilot, where he describes Ray Purchase as a "complete and utter farce" and then the show literally becomes a ridiculous hammy old-school farce for the next two minutes.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seconding Matt Berry's records, too. He's super talented -- and his music is great. I actually listen to the Snuff Box soundtrack all the time. Kind of amazing for just two chords.


also:

WHISKEYYYYYYYYYYYY!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2013


Here are all the voice overs.

Matt Berry makes me laugh sounds that have never come out of my face before. It also looks like the actors i the sound booth are really cracking up.

My favorite joke is like right off the bat in the pilot, where he describes Ray Purchase as a "complete and utter farce" and then the show literally becomes a ridiculous hammy old-school farce for the next two minutes.

Like Dark Place, it's over-the-top and very clever at the same time. I find new things each time I watch.

Matt Berry also did a radio show called I, Regress recently that is very funny.

Someone just gifted me this in iTunes. I need to bump it to the top of the listening list.

I will be doing my part to make 2014 The Year Of "Fuck that sky high."
posted by Room 641-A at 11:44 AM on December 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Hello Steven, this is Clem Fandango, can you hear me?"
I think it's fair to note that Toast of London was co-created by Arthur Mathews, of Father Ted fame, who is apparently responsible to blame for the aforementioned Mr. Fandango's name.
posted by detachd at 12:15 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


FIRE THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS eeeaaaahh.
posted by gern at 12:29 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Madame Guh-GAH"
posted by jason_steakums at 12:30 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


I actually listen to the Snuff Box soundtrack all the time.

My complaint about the recent Judge Dredd film was that it seemed to lack the satire of the comic series, but, then, in one scene, the Snuff Box theme song starts playing, and I realized the comic book's acid irony was there in the film, but hidden.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:05 PM on December 31, 2013


Someone just gifted me this in iTunes. I need to bump it to the top of the listening list.

Read this. Hohoho!

the punchline is the author's profession
posted by winna at 1:11 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


I found Toast a bit underwhelming, mixed with fairly amusing bits. The final Michael Ball episode was great though. I assumed that given the chance of his own series Matt Berry would try to show he was more than a BIG VOICE, but musical numbers aside I didn't think that Toast tried to stretch itself. Worth a look if you like some silly in your comedy anyway (I do).
posted by comealongpole at 1:12 PM on December 31, 2013


I just discovered this series earlier this week. I realized that I've always blamed Berry for displacing the outstanding insanity of Denholm Reynholm on "The IT Crowd," by playing his son silly and stupid son, Douglas, but now I see that I should just relax and enjoy this genius actor. His role on "Garth Morenghi's Darkplace" should've convinced me already.

Also, now I know who it is that's dumping supermarket trolleys into canals.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:46 PM on December 31, 2013


I think it's fair to note that Toast of London was co-created by Arthur Mathews, of Father Ted fame, who is apparently responsible to blame for the aforementioned Mr. Fandango's name.

I just made a Clem Fandango reference to the friend who told me about Toast of London and he said it was a nod to a recurring joke from The Mighty Boosh. Is there a connection? (I've added Father Ted To Watch list. It sounds great!)
posted by Room 641-A at 2:10 PM on December 31, 2013


Nothing from Boosh is really coming to mind for that, I'm not sure what it could be referencing in that show. I mean, it sounds like a name that would show up on Boosh (same with Kikini Bamalam and a few others from Toast), but it isn't as far as I can remember...
posted by jason_steakums at 2:28 PM on December 31, 2013


Ray Purchase totally looks like Dixon Bainbridge, though.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:30 PM on December 31, 2013


Here's what he said:
The last name "Fandango" is a nod to The Boosh. When one character says something the other doesn't believe, they say "who are you? Jimmy Stirrups?" Or "Johnny Fandango?"
I'm not that well-versed in Boosh so his example didn't register with me. I asked him the same question but he'll be incommunicado for a few hours. I'm just curious about the connections to help point me to similar stuff.

Ray Purchase totally looks like Dixon Bainbridge, though.

And I keep thinking it's Julian Barratt!
posted by Room 641-A at 2:50 PM on December 31, 2013


I'm going to have to revisit The Mighty Boosh, I guess. The first episode didn't really grab me. Gah, the neverending spiral of "things to watch."
posted by detachd at 4:02 PM on December 31, 2013


Boosh did start off pretty shaky, but it gets much better - but enjoying it is really dependent on whether or not you enjoy Noel Fielding and Rich Fulcher. I personally do, so I love it for the most part (see below for the caveat to that), but I can totally see how they'd grate enough to switch someone off despite the rest of the cast being stellar.

But, just fyi, a couple of the one-off characters are Exhibit A in the "uhh what's the deal with blackface in otherwise sensible modern British comedy seriously what the hell" debate from a few years back, so that part's really iffy and unfortunate. No matter how much I love the rest of the show, whenever I think of that it really taints my overall enjoyment of it. Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen had the same problem, though I think Little Britain fares the worst of the three because much of the show was broadly mean-spirited comedy in general (and much of Little Britain was just increasingly wearing out the welcome of sketch ideas by repeating them dozens of times, imo, so personally no great loss there). I think it's still worth seeing Boosh, but it's worth knowing about that going in.
posted by jason_steakums at 5:32 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Toast of London gets second series


posted by Room 641-A at 9:55 PM on December 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just started watching Snuff Box and loving it, almost through. Glad to know I have other good things to look forward to afterwards.
posted by JauntyFedora at 5:41 AM on January 1


The rest!

Episode 1: Part 1, Part 2
Episode 2: Part 1, Part 2
Episode 3: Part 1, Part 2
Episode 4: Part 1, Part 2.
Episode 6: Part 1, Part 2
posted by Room 641-A at 12:33 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


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