Tommy Lee Jones is the BOSS

This coffee is so boss that it'll make you shit rainbows.

This coffee is so boss that it'll make you shit rainbows.

From Kit Kat bars to Wild West mythology (as in cowboys), Japan, for the most part, is head over heels for all things America. Among the many American icons that are ubiquitous in the States, there is a certain celebrity by the name Tommy Lee Jones (Captain America: The First Avenger, Lincoln, and Men in Black ) who is by far the most iconic American celebrity in Japan. Unlike short-lived celebrities, such as Psy, whose notoriety only lasted in the States for about a year, Mr. Jones has been an American-turned Japanese staple for the past seven years.

It all started from a rather humorous and quirky Japanese commercial. In 2006, SUNTORY's Boss brand canned coffee began to appear with Mr. Jones' face along with the first commercial depicting "Alien Jones", an extraterrestrial who has been sent to Earth to survey humankind, in particular, the Japanese, by taking odd jobs.1 The marketing scheme proved extremely popular, and as result, many more commercials were produced and broadcasted with the so-called Alien Jones.

This popularity is well evident from billboards and vending machines stamped with Mr. Jones face. Foreign visitors may be bewildered to see Mr. Jones' mug at almost every turn as they venture into the cities.

No one really knows exactly why the Japanese are infatuated with Mr. Jones. However, a brief examination of each Boss brand coffee commercial may shed some light into this odd curiosity. For those of us familiar with his acting career, he is often portrayed as someone who is straight-faced. And this is the very same character depicted in the entire Boss brand coffee commercials featuring Alien Jones. Now, for those of us familiar with Japanese commercials, they are, more often than not, bizarre and random (in a good way). Once you put together Mr. Jones trademark acting-style and the Japanese-style commercial, you have a rather unique and hilarious combination.

With a very broad story background for Alien Jones, he is given every opportunity to portray his character on different aspects of Japanese culture. From maid cafés to J-pop, he is enjoying Japanese culture with a can of coffee in each commercial. Recently, Alien Jones teamed up with Japanese boy band group SMAP in his latest Boss coffee commercial.2 And as far as I can tell, there will be many commercials of Alien Jones in the near future thanks to this winning American-Japanese combination.

So I salute to Japan. And I also salute to good old Tommy Lee Jones who I will forever call—thanks to those commercials—"Boss".

Below are clips of some of my favorite commercials. Also, there is a wide selection of commercials available on YouTube for those of you who are particularly intrigued by this article.