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Cobra Kai’s Martin Kove Discusses The Evolving Story Of John Kreese

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Happy Season 5 of Cobra Kai – love the cigar, a celebratory stogie on another successful season!

Someone just sent me a box. You do a successful show and suddenly people start sending you things. [laughs]

Of course, the Emmy Awards were last night. I was hoping season 4 would be nominated for top honors like season 3.

We’re in the wrong category anyway. We’re in the comedy category. The only thing funny about John Kreese is the mere fact that a lot of people are after him and how he manipulates everything. But I signed on for this show because I wanted the character to be more vulnerable. I wanted the character to be more versatile. I told the writers that – I wasn’t interested in playing him like John Kreese in The Karate Kid, and each season they give me more and more of that emotional texture.

It’s drama; it’s not comedy. I’m not the protagonist – Billy [Zabka] and Ralph [Macchio] are – but there isn’t much comedy with the characters of Billy and Ralph. Some things are ironic. They are both wonderful, especially this season. Billy is the king of irreverence, so this is funny. But if we put ourselves in a comedy category, we don’t stand a chance of winning anything. Put us in the drama category.

Absolutely. I’m sure the show isn’t about winning awards for you guys anyway. You are winners because of the way the show resonates with the fans. To me, this is the greatest award an actor could ever ask for.

Absolutely, and it’s a family show. It’s really. When I go to a convention or talk to someone at the grocery store — I’m here in Nashville — people stop you and I say, “Well, why do you like the show?” They all say the same thing. They all say they tried to get their kids to watch “The Karate Kid” when “Cobra Kai” came out and the kids were like, “No, no, no.” Then after they saw “Cobra Kai” seen, they went to the parents and they said, “Do you know the movies you told us about, about the background of these characters? So watch it together.

Now that they’ve seen the film, the family sits down and watches “Cobra Kai,” a rarity on television. We used to do that with The Ed Sullivan Show. If Ed Sullivan was there, we did it. That’s why it’s so popular, because it’s the only series written really well for the whole family.



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