“What if… what if… Toast ruined a fake moon landing film recorded in secret by Stanley Kubrick?”
This was the germ of an idea from Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews, a nugget of silliness to kick start that pompous old luvvie Steven Toast back into action in this new third series. And action is right. The key to Berry’s Toast is that he is a man who does things. He may be an actor, but he is rarely out of work and he doesn’t sit on his backside. And the things he does are usually very funny.
Tonight’s opening episode sees Toast tackle Macbeth in an open air theatre and face up to a serious bout of stage fright after he is told that the production (which also features his arch-nemesis “Ray bloody Purchase”) will be screened live on ITV.
He will, he fears, go the same way of Patrick Stewart, the former Star Trek actor who once had a luxuriant thatch of hair before he experienced similar levels of stage fright. (Again, let me stress that this is fiction).
But the main action concerns an even sillier plot involving Kubrick and the top-secret fakery film involving the 1969 Moon Landings. It’s riotously, stupidly, deliciously funny.
Toast has clearly seen something he shouldn’t have and the US secret services are on his tail. Even worse, Clem Fandango and the awful voiceover people have found a dwarf actor who can mimic Steven perfectly and is “cheaper and infinitely easier to work with”.
There’s plenty more of this sort of thing to come.
In later episodes, as RadioTimes.com has previously revealed, we also meet Steven’s Dad in the form of Brian Blessed and Toast gets a charisma lesson from Mad Men star Jon Hamm (playing himself). Toast believes that charisma is a “myth” until he meets the actor and develops a man crush.
Another adventure sees Toast judging a beauty competition held in a barn in the middle of the countryside, away from the prying eyes of the “feminists” determined to ruin everyone’s fun.
Joining Toast and flatmate Ed Howzer-Black (Robert Bathurst) is Peter Davison – the real Peter Davison, as in Peter Davison of Doctor Who and All Creatures Great and Small fame – but as a version of himself who enjoys making (and drinking) illicit booze and who never does the washing up.
Once more, the whole thing is a joy. Tune in.
Toast of London returns to Channel 4 tonight at 10:30pm