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Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio never thought he’d return to Karate Kid

When Ralph Macchio hung up his gi at the end of Karate Kid III, he never imagined that he would ever return to the movie franchise until Cobra Kai

Ralph Macchio in Cobra Kai season 5

When we say “Cobra Kai never dies,” we mean it — and no one knows that better than Ralph Macchio, who reprised his role as Daniel LaRusso from the classic ‘80s movies years later for TV series Cobra Kai.

Originally debuting on YouTube Red in 2018, Cobra Kai follows Johnny Lawrence (with William Zabka reprising his role from The Karate Kid) as he tries to revive Cobra Kai karate in the Valley where he and Daniel both grew up, reigniting a decades-long rivalry between the two.

Over the course of five seasons, during which Cobra Kai pivoted over to Netflix, a range of other characters from the Karate Kid movies returned for the Netflix series including John Kreese (Martin Kove), Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), Chozen Toguchi (Yuji Okumoto), Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita), and Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan).

In a video interview with Wired, Macchio said he thought he was done with the character after the family movie series wrapped up in 1988.

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“Why did I stop Karate Kid in 1988? ‘Cuz it was time,” he said. “And then, who knew? When I finished Karate Kid III, I thought there would be no way in hell I’d play Daniel LaRusso ever again. Not that I disliked it, but it was time at that point and interestingly enough, the Karate Kid III storyline is now giving… season 5 of Cobra Kai’s storyline, so be careful what you think you know.”

All seasons of Cobra Kai are now available to watch on the streaming service Netflix. If you like this show, check out our list of the best comedy series of all time.