and with that traditional greeting, Steven Toast bellows his way into the utterly ridiculous and frequently disgusting story of his life. Steven Toast, an utter buffoon of a down on his luck/past his prime actor, is the creation of Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews- and while Toast is credited as the author (what with this being an autobiography and all), the work really belongs to them.
If you have not seen Toast’s show, Toast of London, then you are going to need to stop what you are doing right now and go catch up because A: it is amazing and B: this book will mean absolutely nothing to you. Hopefully you are familiar with Matt Berry and his extravagant voice; he is currently hamming it up as Lazlo on What We Do in the Shadows, and his blustery nonsense has also stolen scenes in The Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and as the Grifting Professor on one episode of Community– just to name a few. The man is a treasure and an absolute master of strange line readings.
Matt Berry has the best voice in the business and luckily he leans into his hollering, sniveling, regretfully horny presentation of Toast throughout the audio production. It is presented like a live recording session- something that is frequently depicted in Toast of London. He yells at Clem Fandango, belches into the mic, and coughs up a storm throughout. Most importantly, his strange enunciation and inflections are dialed up to 11. He pronounces Duran Duran as “dyoo-run dyoo-run” and describes being birthed from his mother’s “oo-tear-us”. He drags out the word “sword” for a good five seconds, and yes: he DOES go on a few tirades about Ray Bloody Purchase.
I listened to his while commuting back and forth from work; it was a welcome break to switch out the unhappy chaos of life right now for the incredibly silly chaos of Steven Toast. Unfortunately the distraction was very brief, topping off around four hours. Toast on Toast is very much a companion piece to Toast of London, and while it does not feature the show’s flights of musical fancy and bizarre guest stars, it does harness the manic energy of Matt Berry. It’s a slight piece that could not function without Toast of London – I’d love to recommend this audio-book to you, but you really do need to watch the show first.