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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka on Cobra Kai season 3 and making Daniel the bad guy

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka on Cobra Kai
Ralph Macchio and William Zabka on Cobra Kai
Photo: Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

First Cobra Kai was on YouTube Red, then it moved to Netflix. First the Karate Kid sequel series’ third season was going to launch on January 8, then it moved to January 1. First Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso was the hero and William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence was the villain, then things got more complicated.

“You sort of did a switcheroo because it sort of switched from good guy to bad guy with you guys, that was interesting to see,” David Spade tells the two actors in a clip exclusive to The A.V. Club from his new talk show The Netflix Afterparty.

“Well, it was way at the onset.... The angle opening this show was how to get into the Karate Kid universe from a different perspective,” Macchio tells Afterparty hosts Spade, Fortune Feimster, and London Hughes, as well as guest host Bill Burr in the clip above. “We knew there was going to be a redemption story [for Johnny] going in, how gray the areas were, and how LaRusso and Lawrence—at certain times—would become the antagonist to the other, is part of the fun of it all.... That’s the thing that’s the most different from the Karate Kid films, which were so clearly black and white, good over evil. Daniel Good. Johnny Bad.”

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“All they had to do is give Johnny a little redemptive...just a little goodness,” adds Zabka. “He was so bad for three decades. He was the biggest jerk. He was the villain. But it flips.”

The Cobra Kai cast is the first to appear in full on Netflix’s new weekly talk show, which The A.V. Club can exclusively reveal will debut new episodes every Saturday beginning January 2. The Netflix Afterparty is hosted by Spade, Feimster, and Hughes, with a different Netflix comedian joining them as co-host to a different Netflix cast each week. The series launched on December 13 with a special end of year wrap up show which included cast members from The Crown, Queen’s Gambit, Emily in Paris, Tiger King and Love is Blind. Upcoming episodes will include the casts of Bridgerton and Bling Empire.

Read our Cobra Kai season three review here:

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A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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