How Martin Kove & William Zabka Feel About ‘Cobra Kai’ Fans

Martin Kove does not believe that Kreese is a villain

Getty Ralph Macchio, Martin Kove and William Zabka attend "Cobra Kai" press line at Hilton Bayfront

In the 1984 film “The Karate Kid,” Martin Kove played violent sensei John Kreese, who encourages members of his Cobra Kai dojo to fight aggressively and win at all costs. One of his students, Johnny Lawrence (William “Billy” Zabka) bullies Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and the two teenagers eventually compete against each other at the 1984 All Valley Tournament. As fans are aware, Daniel ultimately wins the competition, which ruins Johnny’s relationship with Kreese. 


Martin Kove & William Zabka Spoke About ‘Cobra Kai’ Fans in August 2021

Since 2018, Martin Kove and William “Billy” Zabka have reprised their roles on the acclaimed series “Cobra Kai.” During an August 2021 appearance at the Planet Comicon Kansas City, the actors discussed their resurgence in popularity over the past three years. Zabka explained that he has been recognized more often since the show was made available to watch on Netflix in 2020. 

“Netflix is a big platform, you know, and even if you don’t want to see the show, you’re watching the trailer, you know, it’s in your face. It’s good though. That’s what we do, we’re here to entertain. Not only here to entertain, by the way. Mostly, yeah, it’s fine. No weird encounters, just nice people, you know,” said Zabka. 

Kove then shared that he and Zabka “really appreciate” members of the “Cobra Kai” fandom. He also noted that he enjoys that the show has fans of all ages. 

“It’s really rich in the sense that kids love it because they tell their parents about the show. And then the parents tell the kids about the movie, so that it goes back and forth and it’s such an education. And I think the success of the show is based on what we haven’t had in a long time, a wonderful show like ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ where everyone in the family can get around the TV and watch ‘Cobra Kai’ and get something from it. So I feel really good about what we’re giving to everybody because it’s great,” shared the 75-year-old.


Ralph Macchio Discussed ‘Karate Kid’ Fans in December 2020

While speaking to BBC Radio 1 in December 2020, alongside William “Billy” Zabka, the “Karate Kid” himself, Ralph Macchio, also discussed having encounters with fans. He revealed that he has been approached by fans who have referenced moments and lines from the original “Karate Kid” film. 

“Everyone want[s] to show me the crane kick and have me review them. Reviewing them is what I like to do. Me doing it is what I like to do less. Because I mean, we captured it perfectly the first time. So I can only fail attempting to continue to out-do the original version of it. I mean I get all the line call outs. ‘Sweep the leg’ and ‘wax on’ have become part of the American lexicon and the global lexicon,” said Macchio. 

The 59-year-old also noted that “Cobra Kai” has its fair share of popular lines, typically said by Johnny Lawrence. 

“Now ‘Cobra Kai’ is creating its own — whether it’s, you know, Johnny Lawrence’s ‘quiet’ or ‘hashbrown.’ It’s somehow blessed with that pop culture from 1984 through today and shows no signs of slowing down,” said Macchio. 

READ NEXT: Why ‘Cobra Kai’ Stars Say Tanner Buchanan Is Similar to Robby


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