By Mike Bruno
June 23, 2009 at 07:30 PM EDT

Life in show business was pretty good for most of Ed McMahon‘s long, full life. That financial snag he hit recently — the one that almost forced him to lose his home — kinda mucked it up for him a bit. So what’s a late-night vet to do when his personal woes become fodder for late-night jokes? Mine it for comedy (and cash), of course. McMahon proved he kept his sense of humor right up to the end, hawking everythingfrom his gold hip replacement to his giant gold toilet (“good-bye,old friend”) in that very funny Cash4Gold Super Bowl commercial. No matter what private difficulties he may have been suffering, he was still an old-school showman and a first-rate ham who needed attention, no matter what his circumstances. And you best believe he was getting paid right up ’til the end, too. “Heeeeeeere’s Money!” BOOM!

Say hi to Johnny for us, Ed.

More Ed McMahon:
Ed McMahon dies at age 86
Ken Tucker: Sidekick, yes-man, his own man, and the best at what he did
Ed McMahon discusses his career his entertainment
Ed McMahon tops EW’s 50 Greatest Sidekicks
Reviewing Ed McMahon’s acting