Hammer and McMahon cash in on their poverty


Who knew that being a washed-up celebrity with financial woes could be so lucrative?

Cash4Gold.com will be debuting a new commercial starring former rap star MC Hammer and long-time Johnny Carson sidekick Ed McMahon. Both stars have had their financial woes splashed across newspapers. In the early 1990s, Hammer gained a level of infamy after he earned an estimated $33 million in the early 1990s before filing for bankruptcy in 1996. His lavish lifestyle included racehorses, a Fremont, California mansion and a 160-person entourage for his tours.

McMahon's financial woes have been more recent: In June 2008, it was reported that he was facing foreclosure on his home.

Interestingly, the Cash4Gold commercial

was filmed in that home, and features McMahon and Hammer scrounging around for ridiculous items to send in to Cash4Gold. The Cash4Gold business model is simple: Send them your precious metals and they'll send you a check within two weeks, based on weight and quality.

I think it's cool that Hammer and McMahon were willing to parody their own financial problems for a funny commercial, although the lure of the quick buck may not have given them much of a choice.

As for consumers, be wary of the Cash4Gold offer: It's appealing and convenient but if you're in financial trouble, you can probably get more value for your valuables from another source. One blogger recently noted that it is possible to negotiate with Cash4Gold for more money, so that may be an option too.