Swiss Toni continues to run his car salesroom with his small staff consisting of his receptionist, a junior salesman (Paul) and a drunken senior salesman Geoff. While selling cars may well be like "making love to a beautiful woman" but Toni's life is not all roses. Written by
Bob the Moo
The original Swiss Toni sketches were actually just a little bit more than "...is like making love to a beautiful woman." The whole point of Swiss was that he appeared to be suave, sophisticated, confident and in control, but that appearance actually underlied total insecurity, loneliness, psychological problems and probably impotence. Although there was not a great deal of development of the character throughout however many sketches he appeared in (probably fewer than 10), there began to creep in little signs of his problems, such as his disinclination to actually approach a customer and sell a car. Finally there was the sketch where the straight man having failed to persuade Swiss to go after a leaving customer, Swiss croaked out, "Can you not see? I'm - having - a - nervous - breakdown!" As an actor, Charlie Higson performed this really rather well, not surprisingly, as "Ted and Ralph" shows he is a past master of repression.
Translating this concept to the rigours of a 25-minute sitcom was a difficult but not impossible challenge, and might well have resulted in a comedy with the verve and originality of The Office or Spaced. Unfortunately they decided to wimp out. Changing Swiss Toni into a Basil Fawlty-type character with his insecurities clearly displayed for all to see simply misses the entire point of the character. It also, of course, completely lacks John Cleese's genius for farce. The situations presented in the series are limp, the weakest ideas from the bottom of the sitcom dustbin. To this bad concoction they added the inevitable laughter track, resulting in a show that really is not worth watching.
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