The Antidote to Bombing
“I always wanted to do stand-up comedy, but I’m afraid of bombing.”
You will definitely bomb when you do stand-up comedy. If you don’t bomb sometimes, you’re probably not going deep enough.
The trick is don’t be afraid of it. You should WELCOME bombing (from time-to-time). I have to be careful when I say that because, without a doubt, some newbie comic will read this & use it as their justification to be shocking or lame, and lose the crowd.
I know, because I have been THAT GUY.
I have tanked many times on stage. Horribly, brutally,s and over & over, in front of crowds that wished I had been an abortion.
I’ve soldiered on in front of audiences that were essentially ambushed by comedy. A family with kids shows up at the supper club, unaware that a potty-mouth like me was hired to entertain. A crew of dudes ready for a bunch of shots before going to the strip club interrupts the show at a sports bar where I’m performing between fuse-ball & dart machines. The rest of the crowd tunes out, because they can’t pay attention, & you’re left rattling off jokes to a large, annoyed “audience”.
Sometimes I just wasn’t funny.
Bombing reveals the real peaks & valleys in your act. Because when you’re tanking, any joke that DOES get a laugh, you know is a winner. Eventually you’re only left “works-every-time” material.
A good way to handle bombing is something I learned back in high school speech class-
“Act as if…”
Overcome bombing by acting as if you killed. Still stay thank you, and meet-n-greet with the audience afterwards, take selfies & be conversationally funny. Leave as many people as possible laughing AFTER the show.
You can even joke about how you tanked on stage. Then they remember you as funny, friendly & cool. Not as the guy that sucked.
Lots of comedians don’t meet-n-greet that much when they ARE crushing it night after night, & that’s a HUGE mistake.
That said, bombing fucking sucks! I hope it never happens to me ever again. Ever.