Ed McMahon pitching back into his work

July 25, 2008 6:20:00 PM PDT
Ed McMahon has a job. The former "Tonight Show" sidekick is reprising his role as pitchman with several comical commercial segments during "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The first of four spots, which were filmed Thursday evening and feature McMahon and Jimmy Kimmel together, will air Monday during the late-night ABC talk show.

"It felt very good to be out of the brace and working again," McMahon, who recently underwent a third neck surgery, said during a telephone interview Friday morning. "I spent my whole life doing commercials, so here I was back doing a commercial again. It was very comforting. Believe me."

In the four segments for Pontiac, McMahon and Kimmel point out the various amenities of the Pontiac G8, G5, G6 and Vibe. One of the spots features McMahon - who once pitched Budweiser and the American Family Publishing sweepstakes - teaching Kimmel how to properly sell a product. Another has the duo preparing for a road trip to Mexico.

"I went in like a professional to do a commercial, like I've done a million times in my life in my long career," McMahon said. "That's what I went in to do. Of course, we had fun with it. There's one where Kimmel's locked up in the trunk, and I'm pretending to be Jimmy Kimmel. It was fun, but we're still selling a product."

The 85-year-old former "Star Search" host is currently embroiled in a lawsuit against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, two doctors and the owner of a home where he says he fell during a dinner party in March 2007 claiming negligence, battery, elder abuse and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He is seeking unspecified damages, claiming the injury left him unable to work - until now.

"I'm optimistic," he said. "I feel we're going to get this straightened out. I look forward to those days."

Last month, McMahon revealed he was fighting foreclosure after falling $644,000 behind on mortgage payments on his Beverly Hills home. His financial woes also include a lawsuit against him by Citibank, which is trying to recoup nearly $200,000 it said it loaned McMahon and his wife, Pam.

"I'm sure things are going to work out," McMahon said.