You do realise that he was getting paid for it, don’t you? Bernard Manning, of evil memory, once said that the best job a comedian could have was “Getting paid to give people stick!”. They give him the gig, year after year, precisely because he comes on and isn’t all reverential and respectful. My guess is that he finds the whole ‘free speech hero’ thing hilarious, but he’ll play up to it if he gets paid to do so.
It’s called ‘professionalism’ -doing the job you’re paid to do.