Well, yeah, I think it is. I love eating Twinkies and I have eaten one as recently as a few weeks ago. They’re sweet and sugary and completely bad for me. Just because it makes me feel good, it doesn’t mean I should ingest it.
I think the worst part about poor improv is that it’s uncommitted. I like to believe that anything can be done in improv if we all agree that we’re doing it and we commit to it. So making dumb jokes or making a comment isn’t deadly… it can be fun if everyone’s on board. Probably not best for every group, every show, or every scene, but it can be done.
I saw a group last year use “finger guns” and had a helluva fun time messing around with each other. They probably made every “sin” of improv, but the show was great to watch. Why? Because they were committed to their anarchic spirit, and they were truly having fun doing it. The show was still full of mutual respect for the other performer. They were Yes-Anding not only the details of the scene, but also the underlying crazy energy.
Now, if all of this commenting, cheap laughs, and finger guns came from a place of non-commitment, I’d say there’s a problem. When a performer is so unsure and untrusting in the power of Yes-And that they actively disrespect the show and their scene partners, then yes, we’re doing bad improv.
Thanks for the question. What do you think?