Was Ralph Macchio Surprised By Cobra Kai’s Success?

Ralph Macchio

Getty Ralph Macchio is photographed at 'The IMDb Show' in 2019.

Since its premiere in 2018 as a YouTube Red series Cobra Kai has seen tremendous success. In January, Screen Rant reported the show’s third season, which is currently available on Netflix, “is a massive hit for” the popular streaming service. 

During a recent interview on the Sway podcast, Ralph Macchio, who portrays Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid film franchise and Cobra Kai, commented on the show’s popularity.

The podcast’s host, Kara Swisher, asked the actor if he has been taken aback by the fans’ reaction to Cobra Kai.

“This is a lame response, but yes and no,” replied the actor. 

He went on to say that he found Cobra Kai‘s popularity unsurprising as he has been constantly recognized for his role as Daniel LaRusso in The Karate Kidfor 30 something years.”

“It has never gone away from me certainly being well associated to that character, and no matter where I am in the world or on the planet, there is an affinity for that character and that film,” explained the 59-year-old.“I always believed that if you brought [the fans] to the well, they would drink the water, you know. It’s become such a big part of pop culture.”

He also noted that people from younger generations have found out about the original Karate Kid “movie franchise through [the] show.”


Macchio Commented on the Pandemic’s Impact on the Show’s Popularity

The Cast Of 'Cobra Kai'

GettyThe cast of “Cobra Kai” poses together at The Paley Center for Media.

Later in the interview, Swisher stated that she believed Netflix acquiring Cobra Kai helped it find an even larger audience when it came onto the streaming service in August 2020.

Macchio agreed with her assessment, stating,

Yes, it made a big difference. It’s just insane it just blew up instantly it was end of August.

When asked if the global pandemic has increased the show’s viewership, the father-of-two revealed that he felt Cobra Kai gave people a sense of comfort amid difficult times.

“I think maybe in this time in the world a big fat nostalgic embrace — that is kind of a comfort food like the best cheeseburger that you’ve had at 12 years old that they no longer make but somehow you get to taste it again. People are looking for that — that warm and fuzzy when we’re not dealing with warm and fuzzy when we step out of the house,” asserted the actor. 


The Actor Has Previously Talked About ‘Karate Kid’ Fans

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio Comic-Con

GettyWilliam Zabka and Ralph Macchio speak at the 2019 Comic-Con in San Diego.

This is not the first time that Macchio has mentioned the Karate Kid franchise’s long-standing popularity.

While speaking to The Guardian in August 2020, the actor disclosed fans regularly talk to him about the films.

Macchio has also previously talked about interacting with fans while visiting various parts of the world. During a joint April 2019 interview with his Cobra Kai co-star William “Billy” Zabka on PEOPLE Now, he discussed children imitating his Karate Kid character while on a trip to “the Caribbean.”

“This was maybe ’86 or ’87 I was on a small island off of Anguilla in the Caribbean. There’s no electricity on the island, and there was just like huts… Kids were doing the crane kick. Like how do you know what that is? There’s no television here. That was pretty amazing,” shared the actor. 

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