Bad improv shows happen everyday, sometimes even more often. It is both a blessing and a curse, a double edged sword, a catch 22 and i wouldn't have it any other way.
While i am watching a bad improv show i a m filled with mixed emotions. If it sucks and the audience loves it, i feel like the audience is stupid and i feel discouraged to ever perform again for them. If it sucks and the audience hates it, i feel like the audience will never give improv another chance and i wish that it would be illegal for shitty troupes to perform in public. To deal with these situations i usually just leave the theatre, or find my happy place and smile.
While in a bad improv show it gets more complicated. Panic usually bubbles to the surface (which of course just makes things worse). The need to "fix" the problem overcomes me. I want to make sure the audience enjoys the show. Sometimes it is just a personal bias that makes the show bad. The show could be really awesome, but the things i am doing in the show are unsatisfying to me. After the show i need to feel the "rush" or the "high" of performing and it doesn't always happen, when it doesn't, it is a bad show. Sometimes it isn't what you personally are doing, it is what the other improvisers are doing (or aren't doing) and this can be frustrating. Usually i can just find my happy place and smile while improv suck falls down around me. This can actually be fun, especially if you have someone else in the show you can share it with.
Now with all these scenarios of improv suck, let me assure you that they are necessary evils. I again state that i wouldn't have it any other way. It has to suck sometimes. It has to be painful sometimes. The risk of the ultimatly shitty show, the bomb and the boring show must be present. The old saying is true "we learn more from our failures then from our succeses". It is what makes the good shows so good.
-if you see a shitty improv show, don't blame all improv (if you hear a bad band you still like music).
-if you do a shitty improv show, don't give up, smile and let it suck. Perhaps somewhere in that suck there will be a way out.
The good news is the shitty shows only happen once and are then gone forever. The bad news is the awesome shows only happen once and are then gone forever...