It’s not exactly sweeping the leg, but fans are sure to get a kick out of seeing the stars of “The Karate Kid” film trilogy get together in the latest episode of Josh Gad’s YouTube series, “Reunited Apart,” which premiered Monday.
Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Elisabeth Shue headlined the all-star Zoom call, which also featured other supporting actors from the original film opening the show with a play on some of the movie's most popular lines.
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Macchio and Zabka recalled auditioning for their respective roles, with Zabka noting he didn’t know any karate and had a conversation with director John G. Avildsen, who felt his height may be a problem because he was bigger than Macchio.
“I said, ‘Well, Bruce Lee beat up Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’ (in 'Game of Death') and he goes, ‘Well, you got a point about that,’” Zabka said.
Shue said it was her first movie and she especially remembers shooting the scene on the beach where Daniel and Johnny first tussle.
“I feel like in that moment I kind of understood what acting was about,” she said. “You know, you kind of just let yourself go and actually believe what’s going on.”
Macchio also said Avildsen was a stickler for rehearsing, which paid off when it came to fight scenes with Zabka.
“That stuff was like a ballet once we got to do it. We were ready to shoot that stuff. We were really ready,” he said.
Gad had plenty of surprises in store for viewers, too. The stars were joined by the creators of the "Karate Kid" reboot series "Cobra Kai," as well as Yuji Okumoto, who played Chozen in “The Karate Kid Part II,” and that film’s love interest, Tamlyn Tomita, who portrayed Kumiko.
Robyn Lively, Thomas Ian Griffith, Sean Kanan and William Christopher Ford, who all starred in "The Karate Kid Part III," also signed on, as did Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the three movies.
Fans also got a treat when Darryl Vidal, the man who created the legendary crane kick (and who portrayed the competitor who lost to Johnny in the semifinals of the All Valley Karate Championship), appeared.
“I didn’t realize that everyone in the world would do it after that,” Vidal said about the legendary move.
The reunion exploded in size to about two dozen people when several of the young “Cobra Kai” stars also joined in. The highly acclaimed Netflix drama returns for a third season next month and has been a hit among fans of the original film, as well as younger audiences who are discovering “The Karate Kid” universe through the series.
“I’m still amazed at how brilliant it is and how brilliant Billy and Ralph have taken this thing that became an iconic thing and turned it into this. They really inhabit the characters and flip them. I just thought it was ingenious,” said Kamen.
The episode also featured Amy Schumer checking in to ask some tough trivia questions about the movie (Do you know Daniel LaRusso’s original last name?), as well as a tribute to the late Pat Morita, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Mr. Miyagi, and an acoustic performance of the song “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito.
And the episode had some fun at the very end when Tanner Buchanan (he plays Robby on “Cobra Kai”) called in to say he missed the reunion because he was on a rival episode of Gad’s show that happened to be done by — you guessed it — Sensei Kreese himself, Martin Kove, who — you guessed it, again — talked about how mercy is for the weak.