Oh, absolutely. Makes me wonder, though. Back in the 90s, Maddox received emails from people who took offence at his diatribes against things they valued; which Maddox naturally dismissed as the impotent witterings of worthless plebs, clearly inferior to himself. And those who were laughing considered it all part of the act. But suppose Maddox received an email saying, "hey, I think you're a genius for dreaming up that character you play - he's such a fucking idiot, it's hilarious!" How would Maddox have responded to that?His schtick was funnier when you thought he was being ironic about it. As it turned out, the actual joke was George himself, and he wasn't even in on it.
Compare to Don Rickles, whose schtick was viciously insulting members of his audience, but who was by all accounts a ridiculously nice person in reality. He'd do this face to face, and even knowingly insulted a major mob guy despite being warned, and the guy loved it.