Toast of London should not work as a show or a comedy. The elements of the narrative float around each other in a suspension of almost implacable chaos. The characters jump wildly from one side of the sanity spectrum to the other. Costumes and props could be introduced or removed from the plot at any time without warning. But, somehow, it all works and it’s refreshing, funny, and ludicrous.
The first episode of Season 3 features a large pillar, pickled onions, and ‘The Batphone’ as central plot points: central! It’s a bit like The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace finger-painting on the walls of Buckingham Palace; in that it has a loose grip on reality, every character wants you to notice that they’re acting, and the whole thing is infused with grandeur and gravitas.
Particular attention should be given to the names of the characters. Each and every name seems to have been chosen meticulously. And sometimes the name of the character outshines the character themselves, such as the infamous ‘Clem Fandango’.
My only hesitation is Toast of London‘s tendency to break into song during an episode. Sometimes the song is good, funny, entertaining but sometimes it feels like I’m watching one of the weaker Disney films and I want to press fast forward on my VCR.
I give it 6 slanderous paintbrushes out of 4 corked thighs.
Toast of London is on Channel 4 at 22.30 on Wednesday nights.