Idiot Box: “Time Traveling Bong” On Comedy Central

“Time Traveling Bong” On Comedy Central

Devin D. O'Leary
3 min read
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Maybe it wasn’t good enough to turn into a series. Maybe somebody didn’t have the attention span to follow through on it. For whatever reason, Comedy Central’s newest effort is a three-part sitcom “miniseries” being broadcast over three consecutive nights. Although the majority of the humor is contained within the show’s title, “Time Traveling Bong,” there are enough weed references, masturbation jokes and bleeped-out curse words to induce snickering in any number of teenage stoners.

“Time Traveling Bong” is the work of creators/stars Illana Glazer and Paul W. Downs (of CC’s hit series “Broad City”). Glazer is bad-dating rental car clerk Sharee, while Downs tackles the role of her couch-surfing, porn-loving cousin Jeff. The two ambition-deficient roomies spend most of their time slacking off and smoking weed. One fateful evening, while taking their bikes to the supermarket to get more buffalo chicken bites, they run across a pair of futuristic time travelers who pop out of nowhere and are promptly run over by an SUV. In the aftermath of this unusual accident, Sharee and Jeff locate the mysterious “time bong” which has sent these folks from the future. Throwing caution to the wind, the pair toke up and find themselves shooting back through time to stare down the business end of a T-Rex (one of the show’s few, inexpensive, but mostly serviceable special effects).

An inevitable mishap causes the time bong to break, forcing Sharee and Jeff to surf randomly through time with no control. (And a dwindling supply of marijuana.) So it’s basically “Time Tunnel” crossed with “Quantum Leap” crossed with
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure crossed with Hot Tub Time Machine crossed with a Cheech & Chong sketch you may or may not have heard your older brother play for you once on LP. On a Comedy Central budget. As they search for a way back to the 21st century, our protagonists encounter Puritans, cavemen, Civil War slaves, ancient Greeks and a young Michael Jackson.

Aside from the general air of silliness and flippancy, most of the jokes are of the exact variety you would expect. (Jeff: “We need to get high.” Sharee: “Good idea. There must be something to smoke around here.” Jeff: “No we need to get higher up to look for an exit.”) There’s an extremely loose storyline that eventually takes our dopey historians to the far-flung future and the origins of the time traveling bong. But mostly the show is an excuse to have two self-proclaimed “idiots” teach citizens of the late 1700s how to say “chill” and to josh about pederasty in ancient Greece.

Stoner humor is generally ineffective against non-stoners. And it’s wasted on stoners who are not stoned. So it’s no small coincidence that “Time Traveling Bong” is airing on 4/20. In other words: Toke it and like it.

Time Traveling Bong” runs April 20, 21 and 22 at 11:30pm on Comedy Central.

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