William Zabka’s Unexpected Twist: ‘Karate Kid’ Grows Up

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Back in the ’80s, when William Zabka’s Karate Kid character had run its course in the original films (he wasn’t invited back for The Karate Kid III), he thought his days as Johnny Lawrence were gone forever. He certainly wasn’t anticipating that, 35 years later, his story would continue in a TV series sequel, Cobra Kai. But now, after four critically acclaimed seasons, the show’s fifth season has just been released on Netflix. When Zabka thinks about how the experience has come full circle, from the success he found playing the character as a teen to the success he’s now enjoying playing him as a middle-aged man, it all seems to be a bit unreal. (Click on the media bar below to hear William Zabka)

Cobra Kai, including the new season, is currently streaming on Netflix.

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