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'Time Traveling Bong,' a smoke-fueled miniseries on Comedy Central

'Time Traveling Bong,' a smoke-fueled miniseries on Comedy Central
Ilana Glazer and Paul W. Downs are cousins visiting the past and future in the Comedy Central miniseries "Time Traveling Bong." (Danny Feld / Comedy Central)

Hey … man. It's April 20, which (for pretty random reasons, but nothing to do with police code) is, like, national pot-smoking day. Unofficially. Marijuana is, of course, still mostly illegal, though if television is anything to go by, practically speaking, not so much: It's no longer the catalyst of cautionary tales, a gateway to the harder stuff, but more often of comedy -- a gateway to the sillier stuff.

In celebration of this "holiday," Comedy Central is offering "Time Traveling Bong," a series of sketches threaded into a three-night miniseries from some makers of "Broad City," a series in which weed is just a thing you have. Written by Ilana Glazer, Paul W. Downs (who costars with Glazer) and Lucia Aniello (who also directs), it follows the adventures of squabbling cousin-roommates (Glazer and Downs) who on a stoned trip to the convenience store come into possession of the eponymous bong, a smoke-powered time machine. He is unhappy living in "the 20-teens" and needs to "learn to masturbate without porn" (it's a plot device), while she needs to be liberated from her oafish boyfriend and straightened hair -- so they go.

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The trip takes them backward and forward through time, into prehistory, to colonial Salem, Mass., ancient Greece, the antebellum South and the early 1960s (where they attempt to "save" Michael Jackson's childhood). Havoc is created, disaster narrowly averted. The implications of the title notwithstanding, there are fewer drug jokes than sex jokes. And though satirical points are made -- about gender roles and race, about progress, the lack of progress and the wrong kind of progress -- the humor overall is goofy (and gooey), a kind of Mel Brooks romp for the 20-teens, minor but sweet.

Follow Robert Lloyd on Twitter @LATimesTVLloyd

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