"No smirk, just a simple smile": Ralph Macchio Explained How Meeting His Karate Kid Co-Star William Zabka at Pat Morita's Funeral Turned Into Cobra Kai

One of the most well-liked sports-themed series in Hollywood is The Karate Kid. Even though The Karate Kid (1984) was released over forty years ago, a lot of children still find film inspirational because of its underdog concept, sympathetic characters like Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, and Mr. Miyagi's teachings.

Ralph Macchio's Daniel begins the first chapter with his attempts to confront his bully, Johnny, by learning karate from the handyman in his flat. Both characters experience radically different character trajectories in the ensuing chapters, but they never put out the rivalry and, in one way or another, they always seem to be inseparable.

They drifted away when their time in the franchise ended, though, and a number of events had to come together to bring them back together and eventually become Cobra Kai.How I Met Your Mother and Pat Morita's Funeral Inspired Ralph Macchio's Cobra Kai

William Zabka and Ralph Macchio returned to their roles in Cobra Kai, the follow-up to The Karate Kid, in 2018. 

After the All Valley Karate Tournament in 1984, Johnny Lawrence from Zabka begins his road towards forgiveness 34 years later by rebuilding Cobra Kai dojo and adopting Miguel Diaz (Xolo MaridueƱa), his neighbour, under his tutelage.This also rekindled his feud with LaRusso, played by Macchio. 

Given Cobra Kai's popularity and their collaboration, one would assume that the concept of coming back must have been very simple. However, that was untrue. In actuality, Macchio and Zabka didn't even cross paths for a long time.

They first met at Pat Morita's funeral in 2005, the year he passed away from his role as Mr. Miyagi. It was the first time the group had gotten together since the 1980s. Macchio remembered (via The Guardian) that "he caught my eye, no smirk, just a simple smile." 

Cobra Kai and this may have set off a chain reaction because they grew close following the incident. Macchio even approved of Zabka's appearance in a music video as an adult Daniel.

The recurring joke on the comedy How I Met Your Mother about what the middle-aged guys in the Karate Kid pair would be going through furthered the concept of Netflix's popular series.

These jokes implied that there is still interest in and demand for the popular 80s series, at least to screenwriters Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg. After the trio presented the concept to Sony, Macchio promptly consented to become involved in the Cobra Kai project.Ralph Macchio Shares His Emotions About Losing His Friends

Long before Cobra Kai made an appearance, Macchio and Zabka proved they still had what it took to win over fans when they costarred in the The Bro Mitzvah episode of How I Met Your Mother.

It's interesting to note that Macchio might have been in pals, another sitcom that centred around a group of pals. 

He had a deal with NBC to produce television in 1994, and he even shot multiple episodes for a project that was never picked up. The actor was passed over for both Friends and ER, which were produced by the same company at the same time.

"I had a contract with the studio that cast Friends as well as ER overall. I was put in none of them, for whatever reason," the 61-year-old said to The Guardian. 

He argued that "the right people get the right parts," nonetheless, and that it was the greatest thing.It's difficult to argue with him about that. It's really difficult to see Karate champion Daniel cracking jokes in his New York flat with his close friends.

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