Ralph Macchio Recognized ‘Cobra Kai’ Actor Jacob Bertrand For Pulling Off What ‘The Karate Kid’ Icon Pat Morita Could Do

O.G. The Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio, recently spoke with us about Cobra Kai‘s fifth season and his memoir, Waxing Off. There was talk about “Eye of the Tiger” and that cursed, fortunately non-existent Rocky crossover stuff, and near the end of the discussion, I asked Ralph to elaborate on his book-bound praise for the franchise’s younger actors. In the memoir, Macchio compliments Jacob Bertrand (fan-favorite Eli “Hawk” Moskowitz) for his ability to portray many shades of an intense character.

For sure, Bertrand has taken Hawk from a bullied character to a dastardly villain to a redeemed hero of sorts. Hawk even had the “hawk” taken from him and then rose up to win the All Valley High Tournament on behalf of Miyagi-do, which he had physically trashed during an earlier season. Bertrand told us that his move from evil-to-good was “almost like I went from driving a sports car, and now it’s like, I’m in a Prius. It’s a really nice Prius, but it goes kinda slow.”

Well, Macchio has declared that Bertrand is also adept at changing modes in the blink of an eye, much like Mr. Migayi icon Pat Morita. As Macchio told Collider:

“Pat Morita had this as well, and Jacob is great at this, it’s the ability to come in and out of it in a snap of a finger. He’ll just be cracking jokes, prankster-ing, and cry, and then back. Pat Morita would do that, too. He’d do the great Miyagi drunk scene, tears in his eyes of losing his wife and child in the internment camps, and then we’d cut and he’d have a few fart jokes for me and make me laugh. And it would take me 10 minutes to get back into character. So I marvel at people that are able to do that.”

Oh, how I wish those fart jokes would materialize in unearthed footage. Pat Morita was incredibly funny in his stand-up sets and roles previous to The Karate Kid, and that’s something that Macchio and Marc Maron recently discussed on the WTF podcast. If you haven’t heard it already, you oughta give that episode a whirl.

(Via Collider & Marc Maron’s WTF podcast)