There is something very likable about Matt Berry, and it’s not just his awesome voice. The fact that we see him in many British comedies shows just how talented he is, and with Toast of London: Series Three we see him at his best.
It would be easy to believe that Steven Toast is Matt Berry, the character feels like the ones we’ve seen him play before. In Toast of London though we see him sending up the stereotypical “Luvvies” acting community that we usually see haunting the streets of London looking for their next job.
Each episode of the show typically sees Toast being given a job by his “old school” agent Jane Plough (Doon Mackichan) and given some bad advice by his housemate Ed Howzer-Black (Robert Bathurst). What makes Toast of London interesting though is not only the outlandish characters that we meet, but also actors who are willing to mock themselves, such as Peter Davidson and Alan Ford.
It is easy to believe that Berry looks to experiences in his own career to build up the outlandish experiences that Toast goes through. Whether it is in the voice over booth, or having to do the Royal Variety show, he always finds a way to mess it up. The Royal Variety episode Bob a Job is one of the best on the DVD, with Simon Cartwright doing a very good impression of Bob Monkhouse, spookily good.
If I had to pick the best episode, it may have to be Hamm on Toast featuring Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as Hamm. This episode almost satirises people’s love of Hamm’s character in Mad Men, with Toast being smitten by him. It may also be the fact that Brian Blessed is in this episode that also makes it stand out.
Toast of London is a show that is very much focused all on Matt Berry and the character he has created on screen, and not even just for this show. Through his instantly recognisable voice and eccentric nature on shows like The IT Crowd and House of Fools sometimes it can feel like it is more a case of him being his voice, more than an actual person. Watching Toast of London: Series Three though you do realise he is much more than that, and that is why he is becoming so liked.
Toast of London works because the people who star in it are willing to send up not only themselves but their careers. They are playing to the stereotype that people often have of them and that is what makes it funny. The fact that so many notable stars are willing to appear on the show and do this makes it all the more fun, and make it very easy to like, making it one of the best British comedy shows on the television right now.
It is very easy to recommend Toast of London to anybody who has a sense of humour. The show is light-hearted and manages to hit its marks where it counts. Funny and charming, If you want to see Matt Berry at his best, then get this show watched.
Toast of London: Series Three is available in the UK on DVD now.