|Toast of London|
Created by Arthur Matthews, Matt Berry
Starring Matt Berry, Robert Bathurst, Doon Mackichan, Harry Peacock, Tim Downie, Shazad Latif, Tracy-Ann Oberman
I’ve discussed Matt Berry before with is bizarre comedy Snuff Box. That was in 2006, and Berry has been keeping busy in British TV. He joined The IT Crowd as a regular, and the show took off. He was also busy with voice work. But among it all was his tour de force series, Toast of London.
Berry plays Steven Toast, an actor who has reached the age where he has trouble getting good roles. He’s helped/hindered by his agent Jane Plough* (Doon Mackichan) who really doesn’t care. There’s also his arch-enemy, Ray Purchase (Harry Peacock), who stands in the way of anything he tries because he resents the fact that Toast is sleeping with his wife (Tracy Ann Oberman).**
Toast gets into strange situations and treats everyone with bombast and cluelessness. A favorite moment of mine was when he was doing voiceover work. He was hired to say one word: “Yes.” The director asks if he needs the script. Toast says of course not and tosses it aside. But when the start rolling the tape, he grabs the script to check it.
The show ran for three seasons and it was announced there’s be a fourth (though it hasn’t appeared). Netflix has it, and, if you like weird comedy, it’s a great place to fine it.
**Mrs. Purchase claims to be a prostitute, but Ray is the only she ever charges.