As fans of Cobra Kai are aware, a majority of the show’s storylines revolve around the relationships between parents and their children. Therefore, it makes sense for the series to include the cast’s actual family members.
Martin Kove’s Son Made His Cobra Kai Debut as a Bully
This occurred during the production of Season 3, when the actor who portrays John Kreese, Martin Kove’s son, Jesse, made his Cobra Kai debut as a bully named David, reported Men’s Health. In the season’s second episode, David, his girlfriend Betsy, and another friend pull up to a diner in the San Fernando Valley during the year 1965. Upon entering, he forcefully rams his shoulder against a young Kreese’s (Barrett Carnahan) back.
When Kreese, who is a busboy, sets the group’s table, Betsy thanks him to which he responds by smiling sweetly. David proceeds to berate him for looking at Betsy and calls him a “loser.” Kreese meekly apologizes and leaves before David’s friend informs the table that his mother had committed suicide.
“Explains why he’s such a freak,” scoffs David, much to Betsy’s dismay.
The athlete tells his girlfriend to be quiet and reiterates “a freak is a freak.” Soon after, David purposefully trips Kreese, causing the diner to erupt with laughter.
Later in the episode, Kreese sees David being verbally and physically abusive to Betsy. He approaches David, who taunts him for being interested in Betsy and his mother’s mental health issues. The bully and his friend then attack Kreese, but he manages to take them both down.
“I’ve been fighting my whole life, I sure as h*** ain’t scared of you,” says Kreese. He later asks if Betsy would like a ride, presumably starting their tragic relationship.
Jesse Commented on Being a Part of Cobra Kai
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kove, 30, discussed becoming a part of the Karate Kid franchise.
“It was such an honor to play in this world that I was brought up around my whole life. It felt like I was joining this legacy of The Karate Kid universe but it also felt like this dream experience. How could I ever be in this universe? And these flashbacks were a perfect vehicle for that. I hope I made my dad proud,” said the actor.
During the same interview, Jesse’s father commented upon his son and Carnahan’s performance, stating,
I walked on set when he was doing a scene at the diner playing with the younger Kreese [played by] Barrett [Carnahan], who was terrific and he looked just like me. As soon as I walked in, the writers are in media village and they’re all watching this scene that Jesse is in because he had an earlier call time than me. They stopped me and said, ‘Your son is just killing it!’ I hadn’t even had a chance to say good morning yet… I felt like a million bucks.
Jesse also recently appeared on the podcast, Popternative, alongside Carnahan. During the interview, the 30-year-old complimented his castmate’s ability “to show … a little bit more the sensitive side of Kreese that we’ve never ever seen before.”
“He did such an excellent job doing that,” asserted the actor.
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