Modern Toss premiered in the United States on IFC on March 17, 2009. Previously, the show aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 2004. The TV series is based on the creators’ comic and website, also titled Modern Toss. It’s not a show for the easily offended.
Modern Toss is a sketch comedy that combines animation and live-action. This adult British comedy (I repeat, adult) includes gross-out moments, profanity and a decidedly cynical view of life. Modern Toss mixes classical music and the British countryside into the scenes, giving the show a deceptively charming style. No “pinkies up” in this show!
There are a variety of characters on Modern Toss, who have very descriptive names. They include Sneezeman, Mr. Tourette, Drive-by Abuser and the Illegal Alphabet.
Former journalists Mick Bunnage and Jon Link based Modern Toss on their comic and website of the same name. This mutant television offspring grew out of UK Channel 4’s famed comedy lab anthology series. “We used the idea of being fed up with working for other people and turned it into a comic, and then a television series,” said creator Mick Bunnage in a press release. “As for the characters, we watch people arguing then we boil it down to about three words. A lot of it’s about people doing jobs reluctantly. God knows what the rest of it’s about.” They are both from Essex.
My Two Cents
Modern Toss reminded me very much of Monty Python episodes, with more emphasis on animation than live action comedy sketches.
On the surface, the show seems charming, with its quaint countryside backgrounds, quiet dialogue, classical music and simple animation. But as soon as the Illegal Alphabet spells a profane word or Mr. Tourette paints a wildly inappropriate sign, you know this comedy is strictly for adults.
Unlike IFC’s other animated offering, Hopeless Pictures, everyone can relate to the silly, cynical characters of the show. I enjoyed it immensely. I found it refreshing after watching ultra-violent Adult Swim cartoons or heavy-handed Tripping the Rift. You will, too.