The 5 Most Ridiculous Celebrity Cameos in Japanese Ads

A tip for big-name actors looking for a quick paycheck: Go East—then sell out. American celebs have long commanded top dollar by shamelessly shilling for Japanese products in overseas commercials that no one in the US would likely ever see.

But ahh, thanks to YouTube, we can now capture, collect and cringe at these ads in all their dignity-compromising glory. Here are five of these embarrassingly bizarre commercials, along with our guess as to how the Japanese director might have pitched it to the American actor.


The Star: Arnold Schwarzenegger, displaying the same subtle, nuanced acting style that he brought to his critically lauded role as Mr. Freeze.

The Product: "Vfuyy," which appears be to be some sort of energy drink/medicinal supplement/horse steroid.

The Japanese Director' Pitch: (loosely translated) "You are finding victory in gambling but no—you are accused of much cheating! You fear retributions! So you run! And you ingest Vfuyy! Suddenly, your face peels away! You harness power of flight! Your suit shines of decadent gold! Naturally, your accuser becomes buried beneath a downpour of French fries and you enjoy much endless laughter. Vfuyy!"


The Star: Nicolas Cageâ€"that is, the fidgety, comic Nick Cage we saw in
Face/Off, not the self-righteous artiste we saw in Con Air.

The Product: Sankyo, a maker of "pachinko" machines, Japanese gambling devices that are said to be tied to the Yakuza organized crime group. So, a pretty desirable endorsement.

The Japanese Director' Pitch: "Lovers of your movies are clamoring for your public touch. You agree to make autograph for sexy sexy twins. But there is one more—they are triplets! Sexy times THREE! Your mind is overcome by fever. Your cells divide and you scream to sky, 'FEVER!!' And of course, men will be eating watermelon. Any question?"


The Star: Michael J. Fox, pre-Parkinson' onset (though in most Japanese ads, it would not seem out of place to see an actor just arbitrarily shaking).

The Product: A tea-based soft drink so refreshing it inspires the iconic, all-time brilliant slogan of"¦ "Good Afternoon."

The Japanese Director' Pitch: "You appear in garden with full mastery of devious hedge clippers. You are not for trusting. In your hands, tree becomes bear! Yes! You are drinking deeply of satisfaction, whenâ€"oh no!â€"the maid becomes disapproving. She is heavy and undesirable! Her broom signals death so you flee. Pretty self-explanatory."


The Star: Bruce Willis, fresh off of filming
Armageddon. So fresh, in fact, he didn't bother returning his wardrobe.

The Product: Eneos, a Japanese gas station that Willis surely would have filled up at during the overseas press tour for Hudson Hawk. If there had, you know, been an overseas press tour for Hudson Hawk.

The Japanese Director' Pitch: "You drive into American Western cowboy town. The dust is oppressing. Trunk opens to reveal powerful fuel pack, which you strap to back. Then, running! Screaming! You donate very large energy. Ha ha ha, victory! To camera you finally instruct, 'Move on.' Also, your character is ghost the whole time."


The Star: Charles Bronson, in a role we simply cannot imagine another actor playing. Namely because this character wears a thin moustache, handles a gun and is named "Mr. Bronson."

The Product: A swinging '70s skin tonic called Man Dom. We offer no jokes for this, as they would all fall short of the comedy inherent in a lotion called MAN DOM.

The Japanese Director' Pitch: "Mr. Bronson, when camera rolls just be yourself. Do normal things, like enter apartment and immediately rip off shirt. Maybe throw shirt up to ceiling. Light one of your dozen pipes. Then, splash on Man Dom! Feel coolness like repeated bullets against skin. Listen for sound of horse! Then, sit. Relax. Mmm…you are in Man Dom. (pause) Mr. Bronson? Please put down gun."
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