Some comedians say that you’re only as good as your last set. Partly true and partly false. Your last set is usually an indication of your skill level as a stand-up comedian. Experienced comics normally have decent sets and are professional enough to adjust to their audience and close the show on a good note. However, if you bomb, there might be other reasons for it besides not being good enough, assuming you’re already beyond the open mic level.
Remember when Tiger Woods re-engineered his swing? I believe there is the same thing in stand up comedy. It could be that you are re-engineering your comedy. Maybe you’re tired of those easy jokes that get big laughs and you’re now trying for something a bit deeper. Maybe you got inspired by Louis CK or another comedian you look up to to make your voice stronger and talk about things that are significant to you. Maybe you now prefer to get people to think about what you’re talking about rather than just getting cheap laughs from hacky material.
So in the meantime you struggle. People start to think you’re not funny anymore. You start to doubt yourself. Well, don’t. If you are a good comic, you know you have to keep plugging away and make a bit of sacrifice to get to the next level. Don’t be tempted to go back to getting the easy laughs just to boost your ego. Keep at it and work on your new swing. When you reach the next level of success, it will be well worth it. Good luck to you!