Speaking as a bo-nah-fied Amurrican myself, I think it's not until you get a chance to leave the United States that you can get an idea of how pervasive American culture and influence is across the globe -- welcomed or not by our brethren abroad. We are somehow larger than life, with all our good and bad points hyper-accentuated. Japanese brewers/distillers Suntory decided to harness the powerful Euro-American image to sell alkie-haul back in the 1970s, and began to feature non-Asian celebs in their commercials. The paychecks were tremendous and exposure limited to Japan (remember, this was pre-internet and pre-cable, so what was made in Japan, stayed in Japan). Some notables that wouldn't be caught dead flogging products in the U.S. could safely sell out in Asia and rest on a nicely-yen-stuffed futon for awhile, rather than taking on the role of Lt. Professor Chud Broadbacke in "Revenge of the Planet Of The Ape-Like Things That Are Not Apes" to pay the mortgage on that Sunset Boulevard party palace. If you've seen the film "Lost In Translation," you may already be familiar with the concept.

Today, I will bring you a few of these Suntory commercials featuring some quite famous folks. Some that aren't even quite American, too. Please to enjoy.

This is my favorite, because it's Sammy Davis, Jr. and The Sam Man rules. I miss him.

Man, I wish someone would pay ME to take a slug of whiskey and raise my eyebrow, although I fully realize that I do not have the same élan as Bond.

Suntory Whiskey - Sean Connery

In which Keanu looks confused (duh), stumbles around in the shadows, and washes it all down with Suntory.

Suntory Whiskey - Keanu Reeves

Of course, the Japanese are infamous for creating some of the weirdest commercials ever made, and this one featuring Duran Duran has got to be one of them. The band is made to look like giant bobble-heads performing to the creepiest doll audience ever. I have no idea how this sells whiskey to anyone. Maybe the Japanese porcelain doll collector/Duranny subsection of the population really loves whiskey.

Suntory Whiskey - Duran Duran

Actor Peter Falk as all-knowing bartender, drinking on the job.

Suntory Whiskey - Peter Falk

Actor Mickey Rourke does even less than Sean Connery! Gulp and nod and OUT!

Suntory Whiskey - Mickey Rourke

Actor Lee van Cleef tells a rambling story about friends, which is something people who drink whiskey tend to do.

Suntory Whiskey - Lee van Cleef

And finally, I don't think I like this with Ray Charles with a wind-up key in his back. I am raising my eyebrow.

Suntory Whiskey - Ray Charles