Tommy Lee Jones built Great Wall of China, pyramids, according to Japanese TV ad

Bet you didn't know that Tommy Lee Jones built the pyramids at Giza or the Great Wall of China! Thankfully, this recently-released Japanese television commercial for a sweetened, canned coffee beverage sets history straight. YouTube Video (via Danny Choo)


  1. Hahaha! So he’s given us two wonders of the world and many fine film performances. Take note, Nicholas Cage. He’s making you look bad.

  2. Uh oh!!! Looks like Chuk Norris has some competition! I would’ve had Chuk doing these things.

  3. These commercials are great. They’ve been running for a few years in Japan (I first noticed them when I was there in early 2008 and they had already been running for about a year at that point), and I’m surprised and delighted to see that they’re still making new ones. It seems like Jones really has fun with them.

    You can check out YouTube for some translated versions. The story is actually that Tommy Lee Jones is an alien anthropologist sent to study humans on Earth. The tagline at the end translates to something like “For this terrible, beautiful world”

    1. Just watched all 19 of the ads on Youtube…strangely poignant for advertising, really; my guess is that the concept was pitched by a Vonnegut fan. I can’t imagine an American advertiser using the tagline “for this terrible, beautiful world.”

  4. I saw them when I was in Japan in October 2006 so they’ve been running for over three years now. They can’t get enough of Spaceman Jones…

    Boss Coffee is my favorite Japanese canned coffee, as much for the Stalin-esque man on the can as the coffee itself.

  5. “The story is actually that Tommy Lee Jones is an alien anthropologist sent to study humans on Earth”

    Ok, you´ve sold it to me. Let´s petition Chris Columbus to expand this into an imax 3d feature, pronto!

  6. anonymous #7 – you can get boss coffee varieties at most local asian grocers. I go every couple weeks and stock up on ramen bowls and canned coffee (and sometimes pocky)

  7. These are just too good!
    I quite like the 1970’s cop one.

    Couldn’t find the Undoukai one, or the Pyramid one with subtitles unfortunately.

  8. I’m so happy to see they’re still making more of these. I saw the first ones in probably ’05 or ’06 and they were very simple, understand, and fantastic. Everyone one they’ve made since then has been better than the last. (Though they clearly they left the “simple and understated” behind.) And the subtext that Tommy Lee Jones is slowly learning to become the perfect Japan man is a surprisingly powerful ad strategy.

    (Is Calorie Mate still hiring Jack Bower to sell them? Those commercials had much higher WTF-ness.)

  9. For a while – they’ve changed them now – there were ads on most of the Boss vending machines that were just: BOSS (picture of Tommy Lee Jones next to it, looking tired).

    Best ad ever.

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