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Series / Toast of London

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Steven Toast
"Hi Steven, this is Clem Fandango. Can you hear me?"
"Yes I can hear you, Clem Fandango."

A Brit Com written by Arthur Matthews and Matt Berry and broadcast by Channel 4 in which the latter plays Steven Toast, a Large Ham middle aged actor who spends more time dealing with his bizarre life and problems off stage than performing on it. Toast constantly struggles to hold down a job due to his self-centeredness and obliviousness, which lead to frequent gaffes and mishaps that upset those around him. He sustains himself by starring in a universally-reviled play and doing humiliating dubbing work, but spends most of his time arguing with his agent Jane Plough (pronounced "pluff"), chatting with his eccentric, permanently dressing gowned flatmate fellow actor Ed Howzer-Black, and facing off against his arch enemy and rival actor Ray Purchase. He also hangs out at The Colonial Club and wrestles with his complicated love life, which involves dealing with his ex-wife, sleeping with Mrs. Purchase, and frequently a Girl of the Week.

A Sequel Series, Toast of Tinseltown, was released in 2022, now being aired by The BBC (via their BBC2 channel).

The series provides examples of:

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable:
    • Listen to Toast pronounce "BonjovIIIII" or "Madame GuGAAA".
    • "Power Bullads" are a type of song.
    • In the tie-in book, "Toast on Toast", Matt Berry manages to do this at least once every paragraph.
  • Arc Words: Many episodes have them repeated so often that they become jokes in themselves.
  • Artificial Limbs: Blair Toast has an artificial hand. It's an inflated rubber glove, stuck on the end of his arm.
  • As Himself:
    • John Nettles of Midsomer Murders is now down on his luck and resorting to poaching, then marching into people's houses to try and sell them the animals he's killed.
    • Peter Davison in The Moose Trap, High Winds Actor and Beauty Calls.
    • Josh Homme in Fool In Love
    • Michael Ball in Bonus Ball.
    • Jon Hamm in Hamm on Toast
    • Bob Mortimer in “Bob a Job”, whom Jane mistakes for Kevin Spacey from behind.
    • Paul Rudd in LA Story
  • Awful British Sex Comedy: Toast was filming one of these at Pinewood Studios in 1969 when he accidentally walked onto the wrong set and met Stanley Kubrick (who was faking the Apollo 11 Moon Landings on the orders of Richard Nixon). Ray Purchase himself is something of an extreme homage to the "jealous husband" archetype, and his introduction is shot like one of these — having just come home from filming an awful sex comedy, he's outraged to find himself being cuckolded and Toast hiding in the wardrobe. And then there's Ed, who still gets royalty cheques for one that he was in that's become a cult classic, to the point where he eventually gets hired to film a sequel.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Several locations appear as tiny buildings from the outside, but are vast within, such as the new BBC Television Centre, which on the outside is a tiny portacabin in the middle of a field, but inside contains a very large office.
  • Bottomless Magazines: In one episode, Ray Purchase fires his six-shot revolver into the ceiling ten times without reloading, and still has enough bullets to threaten Toast.
  • Brick Joke: In the pre-credits sequence for "Match Fit," Toast is recording the voiceover for the "Mind The Gap" announcement on The London Underground, and is asked to leave a longer and longer gap between the words "the" and "Gap". Eventually, he says "Mind the" and then walks out of the recording booth. He doesn't return to say "Gap" until after the end of the closing credits.
  • British Brevity: Faithfully follows this trope; a single pilot, followed by three series (so far) of six episodes each.
  • Brutal Honesty: Jane Plough has no problems calling Toast out for being an arrogant asshole.
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: When Toast learns that director Parker Pipe refuses to work with any actors who aren't "on the square", he decides to join the not-so-secret brotherhood:
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Jane Plough is very good agent and generally a serious, no-nonsense person. Except for the times when her LSD addiction, love of male strippers, and occasional bouts of paranoia kick in.
  • Buried Alive: In one episode, Toast gets put in a coffin and buried underground as part of a movie he's shooting. Unfortunately the director goes insane and the crew scatters before he can be exhumed, leading to him spending all day trapped in the coffin slowly running out of air as he tries to call someone to rescue him on his new cell phone, to no avail.
  • The Cast Show Off: Matt Berry is an accomplished songwriter, musician and singer, which probably explains why there's a slightly surreal song interlude in most episodes.
  • Catchphrase: Many. Played around with, too.
    Clem Fandango: Hi, Steven, this is Clem Fandango, can you hear me?
    Toast: Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango.

    Michael Ball: It's not rocket science.

  • Celebrity Resemblance: Kikini Bamalam, daughter of the Nigerian ambassador, was the victim of an insane plastic surgeon (implied to have been Ray Purchase) who turned her into a dead ringer for Bruce Forsyth. Except her left hand.
  • Character Development: In the first series, Toast states his refusal to play a bald man. Either he has become more desperate or been offered a particularly excellent role, in series two he shaves his head completely - only to find the role has been snapped up by Bruce Willis.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: Jane gives Toast a satellite phone, with a built in oxygen mask and an emergency fire extinguisher. All of which come in useful when he's buried alive on the set of a movie.
  • Chekhov's News: Toast talks to Ed about fracking. He's saved from certain death by it later when buried alive.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Toast's very strange drummer girlfriend has the required skills to save him when he keels over with a (near) heart attack.
  • Comic-Book Time: Toast has been working as an actor since at least the late 1960's, yet is young enough for his own dad to look exactly like him in the 70's, and in 2014 is still only described as "middle-aged". This actually fits pretty well into the show's setting, which can go anywhere from the modern day to the Heath ministry to Victorian times for the sake of a joke, and where Francis Bacon may or may not be dead.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • Ed is a very dignified, professional, and posh fellow but he has a number of weird fetishes that he enjoys in a sly and discreet manner, like old ladies posing in the nude or a woman who looks and sounds like Bruce Forsyth.
    • Jane is highly dignified and no-nonsense on the job, but on her off-hours is nearly always accompanied by several fit male strippers.
  • Emasculated Cuckold:
    • Toast's main way of one-upping Ray Purchase, and perhaps the origin of their rivalry, is by sleeping with Mrs. Purchase (who generally refuses to sleep with her husband).
    • Similarly, Clem Fandango constantly humiliates Toast at every opportunity, beginning with the fact that he slept with Toast's wife during their wedding.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed; Steven usually dresses all in black and, while he's a bit of a jerk, compared to some of the others floating around his orbit he's a pretty reasonable guy.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Ray Purchase has the moustache and cartoonishly evil personality, although unusually he dresses in an all-white suit. In the first episode he is only mentioned, but Toast suspects him of conducting a needlessly elaborate scheme just to annoy him.
    Ed: So, you think he set himself up as a rogue cosmetic surgeon, to operate on a friend of a friend of yours, disfigure her and turn her into a Bruce Forsyth lookalike... just to piss you off?
    Toast: Yep. Thing is, I'm not even that pissed off.
    • When me meet Ray in the next episode, he's such a bastard that it suggests Toast was right, as Ray probably would go to such unnecessary lengths. He also attempts to kill Toast twice, first by goading an insane director into murdering him, and later by simply trying to shoot him onstage. He's also notoriously homophobic.
  • Dissonant Serenity: While wandering around the docked nuclear submarine HMS Penetrator, Toast is pulled aside by its deputy commander, Toby Hopkinson-Finch, who informs him, in a very calm and reasonable-sounding manner, that he's been contacted by aliens who have instructed him to launch a nuclear attack on the USA.
  • Double Standard: Toast has no problem sleeping with Mrs. Purchase despite her being married, but won't do the same with the (also) married Lorna, possibly because he is genuinely in love with her.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A non character example; in "High Winds Actor" Toast sits in front of a poster for the play "Man of Sex." He later appears in the play in the following series.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: Addictive Personality ends with Toast and Ed laughing for just a little bit too long after Toast spouts yet another of Brucie's catchphrases.
    Toast: Didn't she do well?
  • Everyone Has Standards: Toast is rude and offensive towards most people, but he is horrified by Norris Flipjack barbecuing (actually roasting on a spit) a fox. He's also somewhat offended by Ray Purchase's rampant homophobia.
  • Expy:
    • Axel Jacklin in "High Winds Actor" is pretty clearly supposed to be James Mason. In his career he's been pretty much typecast as sea captains, much like Mason played Captain Nemo. His voice is even an impersonation of Mason. Particularly humorous in that the episode revolves around actors being members of the Masons.
    • Peggy Plywood in "Over the Moon" is supposed to be director Joan Littlewood, right down to the cap and donkey jacket. Once again justified, as Littlewood died in 2002.
  • Fan Disservice: Any sex scene. Toast always keeps his vest on during the act, and the scenes usually focus on the ridiculous facial expressions that he pulls. In slow motion. Or on Mrs. Purchase's very bored face. A special mention should go to the shot of Toast's genitals in the last episode of season two.
  • Fanservice Extra: The nude actress in "Bonus Ball."
  • Fictional Counterpart:
    • Toast's regular haunt The Colonial Club is based upon The Colony Room, a famous drinking den for theatrical and artistic types such as Peter O'Toole, Tom Baker and Francis Bacon.
    • In "Beauty Calls", an extra dressed as Baker's incarnation of the Doctor can be seen in the background, drinking gin and smoking a fag.
    • In "Match Fit," Toast takes part in a Prostitutes and Celebrities Blow Football Tournament for the charity organisation "The River Rats", based on The Grand Order of Water Rats.
    • In "The Moose Trap," the titular play takes the place of The Mousetrap.
  • Full-Name Basis: As a Running Gag, Clem Fandango always introduces himself by first and last name, and Steven always addresses him the same way.
  • Gargle Blaster: Peter Davison has his own home-brewing apparatus, with which he makes his own drink called the Black Death. Toast takes a swig, and his skin instantly goes grey, buboes grow on his face and he begins bleeding from the eyes (much like the plague after which it is named). Davison then tells him that he's really supposed to sip it. At the end of the episode, Davison and his girlfriend are revealed to have drunk themselves almost to death on it.
  • Good-Looking Privates / Hospital Hottie : Toast has something of a fetish for women in uniform.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Between Toast and pretty much anyone, but especially with his rival, Ray Purchase.
  • Hipster: Clem Fandango and Danny Bear are pretty obnoxious examples, always clad in increasingly ridiculous hipster fashions (described as "clowns' outfits" by Toast). Danny Bear wears a moustache together with garishly-colored streetwear, while Clem Fandango sports a "man bun" in some episodes. Both also have a disdainful, insincere attitude towards everything.
  • Hollywood Midlife Crisis: After seeming to be quite sane during his first two appearances, in Beauty Calls, Peter Davison seems to be going through one of these. He's got himself a much younger girlfriend (who is very foul-mouthed), causing his wife to have thrown him out of their home. He starts living with Toast and Ed, and is now wearing vaguely ridiculous-looking clothing, getting drunk with his girlfriend, and throwing childish tantrums whenever he's asked to do chores round the flat.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Played with. Mrs. Purchase acts like one of these, but technically she isn't a prostitute as she doesn't charge anyone for sex apart from her husband. Then there's Wendy Nook, an actual prostitute who is initially unwilling to participate in the Prostitutes & Celebrities Blow Football Tournament, until she finds out that it's in aid of homeless ponies. She is incredibly moved that some ponies are homeless and agrees to take part.
  • Identical Grandson: In a flashback to Toast and Ed's father's judging a beauty contest some time in the 1970s in Beauty Calls, they are also played by Matt Berry and Robert Bathurst.
  • Ignore the Disability:
    • When Toast is introduced to Kikini Bamalam (see Celebrity Resemblance) he is instructed to avoid any mention of Bruce Forsyth for fear of upsetting her. Sadly, he can't help himself and ends up spouting a load of Brucie's catchphrases on an involuntary loop.
    Toast: Nice to see you, to see you... nice. Forgive that. Ed did tell me that to mention any of your catchphrases was strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, strictly, striiiiiictlyyyyyyy... You don't look actually anything like him.
    • In "Desperate Measures", Jane sends Toast to meet Bob Fennison, a musical director with "a very minor facial blemish" that's so minor she can't even remember what it is. Bob is a cyclops. The trope ultimately ends up being parodied and deconstructed; while Toast manages to keep it together, Bob — not comfortable in public situations — storms off because he feels the producer (and his lover), Duncan Clench, is domineering the conversation and taking a fancy to Toast, and later drowns Duncan and himself in a jealous murder-suicide, none of which has anything to do with his one eye.
  • I Have No Son!: Toast's father does not approve of him being an actor, so instead tells people that he is dead. By the end, he's told people this so often that he even believes it himself.
  • I'll Be in My Bunk: While discussing the plot of the play version of Calendar Girls, Toast expresses disbelief that anyone would want to buy a calendar with a load of older ladies posing in the nude. Ed mentions that he owns such a calendar, and gets himself so worked up describing how the ladies' modesty is covered by cakes, teapots, etc., that he says he's just going to go and have a look at his calendar. "To check some dates...".
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: "Fool In Love" had Abraham Lincoln, Bruce Forsyth, London Bridge and a row of can-can dancers.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's always "Bruce F'sythe".
  • It's All About Me: Steven Toast is the sort of man who thinks that an enemy would engage in a long and convoluted scheme to disguise himself as a plastic surgeon and mutilate an African diplomat's daughter into looking like Bruce Forsyth solely as part of some ill-defined plan intended just to annoy him. Of course, Ray Purchase is such a petty, vindictive douchebag it wouldn't be entirely out of character for him. But nevertheless, it's also a sign of a fairly healthy ego on Toast's part to immediately jump to such a conclusion upon first hearing the story.
    Toast: When I got into this profession, I had no intention of entertaining anybody.
  • Large Ham: Toast himself. Which is not surprising, given that he's played by Matt Berry.
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • Toast is nearly always addressed as simply Toast, even by his brother. In fact, the only people that call him Steven are Danny Bear and Clem Fandango, which clearly gets his back up.
    • Mrs. Purchase's first name is never revealed.
  • Leitmotif: Ray Purchase has one, which consists of his name being whispered slowly over some rather menacing drums.
  • Light Is Not Good: Ray Purchase is frequently found dressed in all white, and is a massive dick.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Toast is pretty terrible at sex, and his sex scenes are also shot with Fandisservice in mind, often focusing on slow-motion close-ups of his ridiculous facial expressions or on Mrs. Purchase's very bored face. In "Beauty Calls", Toast describes his latest sexcapade to Ed as "Straight down to it, over in seconds" and "A quick park. No foreplay. Just the way the ladies like it."
  • Loser Protagonist: Toast, being an untalented, unsuccessful failure of an actor and a dimwitted Jerkass to boot.
  • Loved by All: Jon Hamm, to the point that Toast's father leaves his entire estate, fortune, and freehold properties to him right before he dies, having only just met him.
  • Luvvies: Toast is a very dark instance of this — an embittered, sex-hungry, alcoholic old toff who sponges off others, records voice-overs just to stay alive between doomed stage gigs, and has failed to gain any lasting fame or public notice despite acting in plays, movies and television for over half a century. Ed and Jane, however, are lighter, more conventional examples.
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Discussed, in theoretical terms, when Ray Purchase is forced to watch Toast having unprotected sex with his wife.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Played for laughs with Toast's slightly strange girlfriend who plays percussion, all of the time. Naturally this gets a little annoying after a while.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: This tends to happen with Toast's Girl of the Week, who are often totally perfect ... except for one issue, which starts off as extremely minor before reaching levels of absurdity by the end of the episode:
    • On episode has Toast dating a delightful woman who he has great chemistry with, but she turns out to be a major hoarder. When he goes to her flat for a date, he has to climb over a mountain of furniture and rubbish.
    • Another episode has Toast dating a wonderful woman who happens to be a radical feminist. This seems like an Informed Attribute as she's quite the opposite of a Soapbox Sadie, but their relationship ends after she catches him judging a beauty contest that she's protesting.
    • In another episode, Toast dates a woman who's great except for the fact that she can't stop drumming.
  • Mister Strangenoun: A Running Gag which continues in Tinsletown. There's a good chance that any character will be named Mr or Ms Bizarre Noun — from the main cast alone we have Stephen Toast, Jane Plough and Ray Purchase
  • Moon-Landing Hoax: Turns out the moon landing was staged. And directed by Stanley Kubrick.
  • Mushroom Samba: in High Winds Actor, Jane starts hallucinating bats everywhere. Turns out she's back on the acid.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The three random ripped dudes playing frisbee in "Afternoon Tea".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Arab billionaire who hires Toast to appear in his movie Prince Philip: Scoundrel Dog is in no way supposed to be Mohamed Fayed.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: While Toast's girlfriend on "Man of Sex", being a "Doctor of Drumming", clearly isn't that kind of doctor and probably shouldn't have responded to the question "Is there a doctor in the house?", she is able to restart his heart by drumming.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Aunt Deepa turns out not to be blind and deaf at all, and really could see all of Toast's sex sessions. She used to be, but was cured miraculously and concealed this so she could keep getting disability benefits.
  • Odd Friendship: Despite both vying for Toast's affections (and Jemima being a Crazy Jealous Girl) Jemima and Susan Random seem to have struck one up by the end of the first episode over their shared love of beaks.
  • Off the Wagon: Toast picks up legendary stage actor Ormond Sacker from rehab and takes him straight to the pub. Seven times.
  • Older Than They Look: The show takes a lot of liberties with how old the characters supposedly are to mine humour from them being out of touch:
    • Toast looks to be in his early forties (Matt Berry himself was 40 in 2014), and yet flashbacks of Toast's previous acting jobs include an Awful British Sex Comedy in 1969, an appearance in a children's programme in 1974 (thanks to a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the VT clock during the clip), and an episode of Doctor Who which, judging by Tom Baker's costume would have been made in 1974 or 1975. Who knows how old he actually is?!
    • Also Jane Plough, who in "High Winds Actor" celebrates 40 years as an agent, even though Doon Mackichan who plays her is only 51. Did Jane become an agent at the age of eleven? Her fashion sense is also straight out of the 60's. In "Global Warming", she claims to have been Toast's agent for 50 years, only for Toast to correct her and say it's only 25.
  • One-Steve Limit: Lampshaded. Clem Fandango briefly goes by the name "Clem H. Fandango" to avoid confusion with another person called Clem Fandango. Toast is unimpressed.
    • Steven mentions another actor named "Steven Toast" who was forced to change his name to Chris Bread.
  • Oral Fixation: Mrs Purchase almost always has a cigarette in her mouth, even during sex with Toast.
  • Overly Long Gag: Steven Toast, defending his rather ill-judged decision to reveal the ending of a murder mystery he was starring in on live radio:
    Toast: It's like that Titanic film. Everybody knew what was going to happen in the end, but it was still a tremendous hit.
    Every Single Person Toast Talks To, One After Another: This is very different, Toast.
    Toast:' Honestly [Person Toast Is Currently Talking To], I don't think anybody's going to agree with you about this.
  • Performance Anxiety: In Over the Moon, Toast is extremely anxious about having to perform Macbeth live on television, so much so that he cannot let go of a pillar in his dressing room. He ends up performing the entire play whilst holding onto the pillar. And getting rave reviews for it.
  • Pet the Dog: Toast directs one of Ed's mates in the direction of Danny Bear to help speed up the waiting list for his sex change operation. Admittedly the specialist turns out to be a quack, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery: In "Global Warming" Ed stars in a porno as a cable repairman who comes to repair a saucy lady's "equipment".
  • Political Overcorrectness: In "Global Warming," Toast is fined by the literal PC Police for harassing disabled people, nursing mothers, and an Asian tourist. Parodied, as Toast is portrayed rather negatively for this.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: While never exactly exceptionally modern, Toast becomes one of these in Global Warming (insisting people in wheelchairs be moved because they were distracting him, abusing an Asian tourist for not speaking English clearly, complaining about a woman breastfeeding in public and being seen going into a porno theatre) forcing him to deal with the PC Police.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Among the many things that make Ray Purchase both a villain and an absolute tosser is the fact that he's openly homophobic.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Toast doesn't know much about modern pop culture, and other people's references tend to fly over his head. He has no idea who Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga or Coldplay are, nor J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter. And of course, Benedict Cumberbatch. * He doesn't know what bowling is either.
    • Not surprising, as Toast claims never to watch television. Although he does have a thing for female TV weather reporters.
    Toast: But I have heard that Breaking Bad is very good.
    • Although, rather surprisingly, even Toast has heard of Star Wars.
  • Pyjama Clad Hero: Toast's flat-mate Ed Howzer-Black is almost exclusively attired in stylish pyjamas and a silk dressing gown, although this is somewhat justified since he's usually in the flat nearly all the time, although he even wears them when he is driving or visiting Toast at his theatre dressing room. He does dress in a nice linen suit with a panama hat at one point, which momentarily confuses Toast.
    Toast: Why are you dressed as the Man from Del monTAAAY?
    • Mrs. Purchase is also always wearing her negligée and dressing gown, even outside. Except in the East End, where she is dressed as a Victorian prostitute.
  • Punny Name:
    • In "Vanity Project," Alan Ford plays a cabbie named (only in the credits) Mick Carriage. Put another way? Paddy Wagon. Also qualifies as a Stealth Pun and a Meaningful Name.
    • Pretty much everyone in the show has a surname that's a slightly silly real word (Steven Toast, Ray Purchase, Jane Plough, Clem Fandango, etc etc.).
  • Punny Title: Frank Forfolk, famous round the world yachtsman, has an autobiography titled Forfolk's Sake.
  • Really Gets Around: Mrs. Purchase. She even advertises in phone booths. And on a billboard (which simply has a picture of her and the words "Mrs. Purchase: Call for sex"). But she's not actually a prostitute, because she doesn't accept money from anyone for sex. Except for Ray.
  • Real-Person Fic: Toast's novel is essentially erotic fanfiction featuring the invoked Crack Pairing of Henry VIII and a real life contemporary journalist.
  • Rescue Romance: Toast spends most of an episode chasing after a comely female Royal Navy officer, who won't put up with his nonsense. After he accidentally ends up stopping a crazed sailor from launching nuclear bombs from a submarine and helping rescue her from a kidnapper, though, she does express an interest in him.
  • Rule of Funny: Whether Toast is actually a competent actor or merely Giftedly Bad seems to depend entirely on which would be more amusing at the time, though it's more often the latter.
  • Running Gag:
    • Toast replying "Who?" whenever anyone mentions Benedict Cumberbatch.
    • Whenever the vocal director wants to chime in during a recording, he will say, "Hello Steven, this is Clem Fandango. Can you hear me?" to which Toast will always snap, "Yes, I can hear you, Clem Fandango!"
    • In Toast of Tinsletown, whenever Toast informs anyone that he has a part in the New Star Wars MoVIE, they will respond with "Yeah, right!" which serves as Foreshadowing that Toast's 'role' is voicing a single line for a minor villain.
  • Saying Sound Effects Outloud: Many of Toast's voice-overs will include what would seem to be sound effects but which Toast will have to say as words. In one case, Toast is given a script that just says "neigh" and it's unclear whether he's supposed to say the word "neigh" or make the sound of a horse. He initially assumes the former but is later told the latter, being told they can't get a horse in to the studio to do it due to OH&S concerns.note . In another case, Ray Purchase is in the booth with Toast reading from a script and Toast has been given a script of sound effects being expected to say "bang" when there's a gunshot and "smash" when some glass is smashed. Toast realises just how ridiculous this is and comes to the conclusion that it's being done intentionally to annoy him.
  • Set Behind the Scenes: Given that Toast is an actor, a good portion of the show involves him working on various acting jobs, notably the notorious play and voice projects directed by Clem Fandango.
  • Show Within a Show: Loads. The most obvious is the unnamed terrible play Toast is in at the start of the series, but there's also the Mousetrap expy, Man of Sex and the porno movie Ed was in.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis:
    • Ray bloody Purchase... although he is more genuinely dangerous than most examples, having tried to murder Toast several times.
    • To a lesser extent, Clem Fandango as well. He seems to enjoy trolling Toast, and Toast can't stand him, though Toast doesn't try to humiliate Clem Fandango as much as he does Ray Purchase. Clem also slept with Toast's wife during Toast's wedding.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Mrs. Purchase will sleep with pretty much anyone for free (she even has billboards advertising her services) except for her husband Ray Purchase, who has to pay her to get any sex.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Toast in a nutshell. He acts all arrogant, but is objectively a failing actor who only ever seems to get roles in second-rate plays, films and advertismements, or doing lacklustre voiceover work.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Mrs. Purchase smokes after sex. And before sex. And during sex, actually.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: A Running Gag in the first episode is the name of Toast's play getting drowned out by a background noise whenever anyone says it, often in an unrealistically loud or improbably timed fashion.
  • Special Edition Title: For the James Bond spoof Bonus Ball, we get a spoof set of Bond style credits. With a special song performed by Michael Ball.
  • Speed Sex: In Beauty Calls when talking to Ed about the sex he (Toast) had just had in the last scene, Toast described it as, "Straight down to it, over in seconds" and "A quick park. No foreplay. Just the way the ladies like it."
  • Spoiler: While being interviewed on the radio, Toast lets slip the identity of the killer in long-running play "The Moose Trap". Once everyone knows that the chauffeur did it, people stop coming to the play.
  • Squashed Flat: A rare live-action example occurred in "Man of Sex".
  • Stalker with a Crush: Toast gets followed around by a woman who wants him to call her. He's a bit scared of her, given that she stabbed her last boyfriend.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Throughout the first series, Toast is appearing in what is described as "the worst play in the world". We finally see part of it in episode six. It's pretty awful. So awful that it's actually improved when Michael Ball gets shot and killed during the performance.
    • Toast also tries his hand at writing a Fifty Shades of Grey style erotic novel. Bits that are read out are truly terrible. And made even funnier by Toast's hammy delivery. Unlike the play, everyone in-universe seems to think it's genuinely brilliant.
  • Super Cell Reception: Toast's cell phone works great while he's buried alive underground, which is lampshaded by other characters but justified by the giant, deluxe model.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: Ray Purchase's wife is always called Mrs. Purchase. Even on the prostitute's cards she leaves in phone boxes.
  • Throw It In!: In Universe: Toast's Sat-Nav voiceover has all of his swearing and sighing left on the finished product.
    • As does the submarine voiceover that he provides, which includes a cough midway through one take.
  • Timeshifted Actor: Toast's father, Col. Gonville Toast, is played by Matt Berry in flashback in Beauty Calls and by BRIAN BLESSED in Hamm on Toast.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Toast isn't a particularly pleasant man. He's generally angry, rude, selfish, impatient, bitter, and doesn't really respect anyone. Although this is mitigated by the sheer amount of crap he puts up with and the fact that there are far worse people around him, like Ray Purchase.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Toast recalls smoking "Children in Need" back in The '60s.
  • Victorian London: In High Winds Actor, Toast has to venture into the East End. Despite being set in 2014, it's exactly as it was in the days of Jack the Ripper, complete with swirling fog and cockney prostitutes. Naturally, one of them is Mrs. Purchase, and as usual she's smoking — although, appropriately, it's a clay pipe rather than her ever-present cigarettes.
  • World of Ham: Other than Toast himself, the show is full of large or cold hams.

Toast of Tinseltown provides examples of:

  • An Arm and a Leg: In Episode 5, Toast gets his arm bitten off by an escaped tiger. Don't worry though, he has the type that can be easily reattached.
  • Back for the Finale: All of the regulars from the parent series (save for Mrs. Purchase) appear for short cameos in the last episode, despite having only appeared in the first episode or making fleeting appearances in between.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The series ends on Toast about to be shot in the head by two thugs to cover up their botched kidnapping attempts on Ray Purchase — giving Mathews and Berry a potential out if the character is ever brought back, but otherwise closing the book on Steven Toast once and for all.
  • Casting Couch: Parodied. Toast's first major audition in Tinseltown requires him to wear tennis shorts and be gawked at by someone behind a two-way mirror. It turns out Daniel Day-Lewis has a knee fetish.
  • The Cameo: Paul Rudd was invited to the David Bowie themed party in the second episode, but since the Ziggy Stardust costume is taken, he isn't allowed in.
  • Emotion Suppression: Des Wigwam's therapy course offers a complete cure for bad temper at the expense of feeling any other emotions, positive or negative. Toast seems to take it pretty well, but Ray Purchase is clearly suffering without an outlet for his anger.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Downplayed. Russ Nightlife, Toast's landlord, wears glasses and isn't a villain, but a deranged Jerkass who tips a jug of his own urine onto his homeless father. Probably played straighter once it's revealed that he's D.B. Cooper.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jane calls Toast, in no uncertain terms, exactly what he is, which gets bleeped but echoes with an explosive-sounding shockwave and leaves him appalled. Later, she (equally accurately) refers to him as an "angry and unreasonable piece of shit", echoing the sentiments of The Stage.
    Toast: S'a bit strong, isn't it, Jane? Your language really has become increasingly fruity.
  • Schizo Tech: Downplayed as the series is set in the modern day, but many details such as Toast's mobile phone and the cars seem to come straight out of The '80s.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: In the final episode, it's revealed that Russ Nightlife, the deranged man Toast is renting a room from in Tinseltown, is D.B. Cooper. Naturally.
  • Status Cell Phone: Toast still possesses one of these, which is frequently Played for Laughs - it appears to be stored in Hammerspace, and can somehow receive text messages and display a GPS.
  • Surreal Humour: While a lot of strange things happened in the original series, Tinseltown frequently ups the ante to "batshit insane" — special mention has to go to the penultimate episode where Toast gets abandoned in Death Valley during the filming of a Western, and is rescued by a crazy drifter who forces him to recover a rattlesnake from his friend Rusty Halloween. And it just gets more bonkers from there.
  • Title Drop: By Ray Purchase during Toast's day filming the New Star Wars MoVIE, who comments on how ironic it is.
  • Who Shot JFK?: Anger Man begins with Toast, at a professional low, preparing to record an audiobook of a very strongly worded conspiracy tome, JFK and The Bastards Who Killed Him, which states that anyone who believes the lone-gunman "bullshit" is "an asshole". Though Toast stays professional even if his contempt for the material is obvious, he can't make it a sentence in before the author has already jumped down his throat three separate times.

"So take my hand, we'll disappear..."

Alternative Title(s): Toast Of Tinseltown