01/30/2009 AT 07:45 PM EST
During his recent money woes
, TV pitchman Ed McMahon raised badly needed cash by selling stuff around the house.
"I had a lot of old wedding bands," McMahon, 85, tells PEOPLE. "Let's say they had 'mixed' memories associated with them."
Now, he's taking it one step further by appearing in Super Bowl commercials for a service he says he actually used – Cash4Gold, which buys jewelry and other precious metal objects.
According to the company's Web site, Cash4Gold customers mail their "unwanted gold, silver and platinum" off in pre-paid insured envelopes and "sit back and relax" while their check is mailed.
Look for a light touch in the ads. McMahon says his neck injury and money problems have not extinguished the comedian in him.
"Anyone can be funny and charming in good times. The real test of a man's character is how you deal with adversity," he says.
McMahon, who shot the commercial along with MC Hammer in his Beverly Hills home, says he and wife Pam have not yet faced foreclosure. "We are still in our home," he says, "and remain optimistic that whatever happens will be for the best."