So I don’t really have a creative introduction for this other than to just say how good Matt Berry is in it. Anyway, Toast of London may be slightly less talked about than some of Berry’s other comedic roles like Douglas Denholm or Laszlo Craven but that doesn’t mean it’s any less funny. While I’ll get more into his character in the history section, Berry still manages to shine as a down on his luck actor amongst a talented cast of actors. These include Tracy-Ann Oberman and a one off appearance by Jon Hamm. Yeah seriously… Anyway, before I get into the list properly, here is some history about the show.
Toast of London first debuted on Channel 4 in August 2012 and ran for 4 seasons and 25 episodes. The show followed eccentric middle aged actor Steven Toast, played phenomenally well by Matt Berry, as he navigates acting gigs full voiceover work and terrible plays. The only reason Toast is in this position? Well, he’s washed up. Throughout his hunt for work, Toast runs into a number of people including his arch nemesis Ray Purchase… whose wife occasionally sleeps with Toast. Toast of London was praised by critics for its ludicrous and insane humour, fantastic performances and occasional musical numbers. Oh and I’m sure I’ll get onto the musical numbers later on…. So without further ado, let’s get into the list properly.
10: The Moose Trap (S2, E3)
Kicking off the list of the best Toast of London episodes is The Moose Trap. So what happens in this episode? Well, after Toast pulls an all night shift doing voiceover work, he accidentally reveals the secret of a famous play: The Moose Trap. Now this would already be bad… until it somehow gets worse. This is because the play is forced to shut down and everyone involved loses their job. Obviously this ends up with the acting community shunning Toast but that doesn’t stop Toast trying to put on the show. And wouldn’t you know it doesn’t turn out well…..
9: Submission (S1, E4)
Now when I mentioned Toast of London had ludicrous humour.. well this episode proves that point. How does it do this I hear you asking? Well Toast gets invited to the Navy’s launch of their new vessel along with his girlfriend. The only problem is that Toast has a kink for women in uniform. This is only a slight problem given the fact Toast’s girlfriend is the daughter of the Defence Minister. Somehow all this ends up going awry with the Vice Commander kidnapping them. Arguably the best part of this episode is the buildup which forever keeps the audience guessing where the insanity is going to lead to.
8: The End (S1, E5)
The end has come already? I’m kidding of course, this is referring to Toast trying to move away from voiceover gigs and terrible awful acting jobs. How does he intend to achieve this? By penning erotic fiction. So, Toast’s new found passion seems to be moving along well. That is until he can’t figure out the ending to the book, forcing the book to be put on hold. Now if that isn’t enough to convince you to watch this episode then the ending definitely will. This is because somehow Toast’s ending literally makes his agent combust through sheer anger. Now this is shocking enough until you realise that was how Toast’s book ended. Very weird how art mirrors life…..
7: Addictive Personality (S1, E1)
While Toast of London had a pilot episode, this is the first official episode of the show. And let me say what an introduction to the show. I say this because the episode revolves around Toast having a one night stand with a woman, Jemima. The only thing that seems to be a slight red flag is an ankle bracelet tracker for ‘allegedly’ stabbing her boyfriend. Somehow this ends up with Toast sleeping with another woman, Susan, who ends up rejecting him for being too weird. But arguably the highlight of the episode ends up being Kikini Bamaslam, the Nigerian Ambassador’s daughter, having unfortunate plastic surgery that makes her look like Bruce Forsyth. If someone wants to know what Toast of London is about, show them this…
6: Match Fit (S2, E1)
So while this episode starts out fairly harmless, in typical Toast of London fashion it soon descends into madness. And don’t worry I’ll explain. When Toast gets a call from his agent that he is going to play Charles Dickens he is happy. That’s until he learns that it’s for a tour guide on the What the Dickens open bus tour. Somehow all this ends up with Toast purchasing a prostitute and competing in a football tournament. And somehow that ends up with Toast and the prostitute he purchased having sex in front of his archnemesis. Yeah I can’t really explain it either…..
5: Buried Alive (S2, E5)
So at the halfway point of the best Toast of London you might hope the insanity might calm down. But unfortunately it doesn’t as evidenced by this episode. Well, after Toast accepts a big role with an acclaimed director his first scene is being buried alive. The only problem is that the director commits suicide and the shooting stops…. All while Toast is still in the ground. After nobody, this includes Toast, is able to help him get out of his minor predicament he ends up getting help from a rather unusual source. For context, a fracking drill saves him…
4: Over the Moon (S3, E1)
This episode of Toast of London really ends up being the classic start at the bottom kind of story. How is that the case? Well, Toast ends up with a CIA agent on his trail after telling a story about a moon landing film directed by Stanley Kubrick. And if that wasn’t enough Toast also has a poser who is stealing all of his voiceover work. But luckily the episode has a happy ending with Toast’s performance as Macbeth is fantastic and the police deal with the poser . Oh, they also managed to fit a 2001: A Space Odyssey reference in….
3: Fool In Love (S2, E6)
Kicking off the top three best Toast of London episodes is Fool in Love. Now this episode sees Toast run into an old flame, Lorna Wynde, while his housemate’s niece visits. And somehow the niece needs an exorcism because of the severity of her allergies. Oh, and also founding member of the band, Josh Homme, cameos as Lorna’s husband. So naturally Toast and Lorna have an affair to make Josh jealous. Another neat detail is the exorcism itself especially with the riff of the Exorcism theme….
2: Hamm on Toast (S3, E3)
Remember when I mentioned Jon Hamm makes a cameo appearance in Toast of London? Well this is the episode and it’s fantastic. When Jon Hamm, cameoing as himself, is introduced to Toast he is immediately surprised by Hamm’s charisma. Somehow Hamm ends up being used by Toast’s brother to convince their father, Brian Blessed, to claim his estate. Also I definitely wasn’t shipping Hamm and Toast at all….. Now luckily this episode ends well for Toast as even Brian Blessed is won over by Hamm’s charisma. This means Toast gets his father’s estate thanks to Jon Hamm.
1: Bonus Ball (S1, E6)
And the best Toast of London is…. Bonus Ball. Now why is this episode the best? Well, there is once again a cameo from a famous person, this time Broadway singer Michael Ball. And yes he’s playing himself… So Ball ends up chasing Toast after he somehow owes Andrew Lloyd Webber £20,000. Oh, also Toast’s archnemesis is finally going to out him for constantly sleeping with his wife. And another high point about Ball is how much of a good sport he was as he put in a phenomenally funny and entertaining performance.
What are your favourite Toast of London episodes? Let me know in the comments below!