Watch This: Tommy Lee Jones’ Japanese TV Commercials are Nuts

There’s an old tradition of American stars appearing in Japanese television commercials, often in wacky scenarios that play up some aspect of their public personalities or best known roles. Here are a few classic examples of those.

One of our favorite actors, and we’re guessing one of yours too, is Texas’ own Tommy Lee Jones. He is an Oscar winner and a member of the Texas Film Hall Of Fame, just to scratch the surface of the many shelf-crowding accolades he has received over the course of his long career. And, as the following Japanese commercials make clear, the admiration for – and intimidation power of – Tommy Lee Jones travels effortlessly to the Eastern Hemisphere.

In these commercials, which seem to take place in a MEN IN BLACK – inspired alternate reality, Jones plays a sort of grumpy, shape-shifting Stranger In A Strange Land, observing Earth (specifically Japanese) customs and wryly commenting on them from an outsider’s perspective, before downing what appears to be about a four ounce can of Suntory Iced Rainbow Blend coffee.

These commercials have been kicking around on YouTube for a while but now you can watch them with English subtitles by clicking on the little “CC” button. Not all the gags work. Some are just dumb, some may require more Japanese pop-culture context, but the collection is fast paced and it is a joy to watch Tommy Lee Jones having fun behind his stone-faced exterior. Enjoy.