PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you mix some Delco flair with a big heart and a lot of attitude, you'd have one person: Aunt Mary Pat.
The comedic character is the creation of Troy Hendrickson who has gained a big following for his persona, which he created in 2018 as a nod to his mom and the Eagles.
"It was right after the Super Bowl when the Eagles won. It was just a conversation with my mom. And I thought, 'This is gold,'" he said of the character that is an exaggerated version of his mom -- Delco accent and all.
He posted a video on Facebook and was shocked to see it grow by tens of thousands of views every day.
"I expected this to die out after a week... 15 minutes and gone," he said.
But that 15 minutes of fame turned into five years. It's taken him from an office job in Wilmington to venues all over the country.
"It was like a whirlwind. Like a dream," he said of performing in front of more than 100,000 people as the beloved character.
But now Aunt Mary Pat is stepping back.
"(I've decided) to retire the Aunt Mary Pat live show, which I know for a lot of people is surprising and upsetting," he said of the announcement he released on social media this week.
The decision comes after an entire year of contemplation and several years of being overbooked and overworked.
"It was three events per day," he said of his schedule, noting that he was even scheduling time to sleep. "It just became my entire life where I was like, 'I can sleep five hours.'"
Hendrickson also experienced the mental and emotional effects of working so hard as such a well-known character.
"When you're a character, people treat you as such. I think that was the biggest struggle for me. Sometimes I didn't feel like a real person."
Hendrickson, who has been open about struggles with anxiety and depression, started reassessing his career during the pandemic, which is what Rutgers-Camden management professor Chester Spell says a lot of people are doing.
"When you feel like it's out of control. You can't control what's coming next. It's all coming too fast. That's when work-life imbalance is dangerous," said Spell.
It's why even people like Hendrickson, at the height of success, can decide to step back.
"Looking at what you're doing and if it's really worth it to you," Spell said of reevaluating work and life responsibilities.
Hendrickson will continue to perform as Aunt Mary Pat for special appearances, videos and music.
"She has her greatest hits coming out," he said of Aunt Mary Pat, who has released several albums including the ever-popular "Merry Friggin Christmas."
Even though there will still be new content on social media, YouTube and other outlets, Aunt Mary Pat is saying goodbye to live performances in a way only Aunt Mary Pat can.
"It's the "clocking out" tour. It'll coincide with her fictional retirement from the Acme," Hendrickson says with a smile, making sure to pronounce the phantom "kah" syllable in the middle of Acme.
The farewell tour runs from March through June. Tickets go on sale in February on the Aunt Mary Pat website (https://www.theauntmarypat.com/).
Hendrickson is looking forward to enjoying his time, which will include a new podcast called "Dive into Wine." He'll be hosting the podcast, not Aunt Mary Pat.
"The reaction has been supportive," Hendrickson said of the fans' response to his announcement to retire from live performances.