I have a joke about Grinder I have told that joke 680 times. It has bombed 230 times. I have changed it from a 4 minute joke to a 28 second joke. Bombing doesn't mean you are bad and it doesn't mean the audience doesn't get comedy. You're perfecting a craft that takes time and effort to complete. Musicians can stay home and practice and come with their best. Comedians can not sadly. Practicing a joke means getting up in front of people and having their reaction telling us if its good or not.
The last time i bombed it was with a new joke that i thought would crush. It absolutely didn't at all. It fell flat and the punchline was terrible. So what did i do? Tore it apart. Wrote a better variation on the punchline. Cut it in half for time. I listened to it a couple of times ( Record your sets and listen to the ones you bomb at every time). After the rewrite I took it back on stage again and it bombed again. I kept working on that joke till it was funny. Now I use it as my opener on booked shows.
What you should NEVER do when you bomb:
1) Blame the audience. If you're funny they listen and they'll laugh
2) Put down the room. (There is a Netflix special that was shot in a living room)
3) Quit ( You love doing comedy and it makes you happy don't stop)
4) Put yourself down (It happens and you can learn from it)
5) Blame the comic before you ( They have nothing to do with your set)
Comedy isn't easy its one of the hardest art forms to do well in and do professionally. I worked on a joke for 2 hours and when i brought it to the stage and it fell flat it hurt. Telling a joke is taking a bit of yourself and baring it to the world. I've gotten off on a booked show when i didn't do well and I've apologized to my wife because it wasn't good enough.
What you SHOULD do when you bomb:
1) Listen to your set ( Listen to when they laughed and when they didn't)
2) Don't show it on your face (If you act like you bombed the audience might have thought you did good but will change their energy if you do)
3) Be motivated (You learn alot more from bombing then from crushing)
4) Think about what they did laugh at ( if they laughed at something think about it and feel better)
Thank you for reading this. I hope it helped and if you think i should add anything or think its terrible let me know.