I love comedy with energy and lots of it! Maybe you wouldn't think Comedy Central's three-part half-hour stoner miniseries Time Traveling Bong (preem yesterday night) would necessarily promise high energy of all the things it might deliver. However, co-creators Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello (associates from the network's equally terrific Broad City) have imbued TTB with enough classic comedic business to make it a good-natured winner whether you're partial to weed or not. You don't have to be high to think Time Traveling Bong is a delight. take my word for it. Slapstick works when sober, too.
Starring Broad City co-stars Glazer and Downs, TTB takes the ever-popular time machine trope and gives it a little spin, exploring how awesome is time travel, anyway...actually? How bad does it smell back there and if you're a gal or otherwise sociologically compromised is the past (or present for that matter) such a great place to be stuck in? Questions to be pondered and TTB has some ideas on the answers, gathered after much hilarity.
Playing cousins, Glazer and Downs are able to sidestep any romantic implications that would stand in the way of the comedy. For instance, Downs is trying hard to help Glazer NOT end up being burned as a witch in early colonial America, but he's not reacting as an outraged boyfriend or spouse probably would. Big difference and big laughs.
Also, lots of always-hilarious screams, at least in part one. Nothing funnier. Ever.
This special has lots of everything good -- funny science fiction elements, pointed re-creations of historical time periods, zippy special effects, spirited performances by a talented cast (starting with the two leads who are excellent as always), and not just a few spot-on observations of present and past society. Along with dinosaurs, cavemen and other favorite olde tyme complications, they're perfect for making Glazer's and Downs' time-bipping a welcome comedy appointment.
Time Traveling Bong continues tonight Thursday (4/21) on Comedy Central at 10:30pm following the Season 4 premiere of Inside Amy Schumer. For all three episodes, tune in to CC on Friday beginning at 9:30pm with the final episode 3 at 10:30pm. Click here for Comedy Central's official Time Travelling Bong site with lots of extra videos and background content.
For some additional takes on Time Traveling Bong, you might like to read: Mike Hale at The New York Times, Brian Moylan at The Guardian; Patrick Ryan at USA Today;
Kwame Opam at The Verge; Andy Swift at TVLine and Charles Bramesco at Vulture.