Ralph Macchio Shares the Secret Behind Karate Kid’s Chopsticks Fly-Catch Scene
-You pulled out —
you pulled out the Crane Kick. -I had to play. Listen, man.
You know, you set me up against an Avenger.
[ Laughter ] I got one quasi-super power.
I had to pull it out of the hat. -Speaking of pulling it out,
the headband. Wait, no.
-There we go. ♪♪♪♪ -Wait, no, stop. Stop. No, I meant by pulling it
out of your back pocket. -Yeah, yeah, no, I got it.
-Your back pocket, okay, yeah. -That’s what everyone
was thinking. [ Laughter ]
Yeah. -That’s what I meant, I swear. [ Scattered cheering ] [ Laughter ] Oh, man. Yeah. Can’t plan those takes.
What are you gonna do? Is that the original headband? -It is the real deal,
yeah, from 1980 — Yes, I brought it out with me. From 1983, I untied this, and moths came out of it. [ Laughter ] -I figured —
-Where was it? Where did you have it?
-It’s in my house. It’s on the trophy
from the movie. The All-Valley karate trophy.
-Oh! -It’s in my —
you know, in my house. And I also have the ’47 Ford,
the wax-on, wax-off car. -You do? -Yeah, I just steal stuff
from everything I do. [ Laughter ]
Just give me. -How great is —
Dude, thank you so much… -But it’s great, so this is —
-…for bringing that and for doing that.
-Hey, listen, it’s “The Tonight Show,” man. When am I not gonna do this? [ Cheers and applause ]
It’s the only time to do it. -You’re the best, man.
You are the coolest, will always remain the coolest. When did you — when did you
realize “The Karate Kid” was going to be a hit?
-Well — -When you were making it,
did you go, “Oh, this is working.”
-No, not necessarily when we were making it.
I mean, I knew — I felt it —
my chemistry with Pat Morita was — was very special
from the get-go. That was — there was
just an ease and a sort of soulful magic
there that I felt. But as far as the movie,
it was — I saw the movie, and it — like a month
before it came out. at the I think Coronet, Baronet
Theatre, Upper West side — Upper East side, and it was
an out-of-body experience. And then when I came out
of the theater watching, you know, a crowd seeing it
for the first time, on the street, everyone
was doing the Crane Kick. I mean, kids were doing it,
grandparents were doing it. [ Laughter ]
And the producer, the late, great Jerry Weintraub
who passed away recently said, [ As Weintraub ] “We’re going to
be making a couple of these.” [ Laughter ] ‘Cause, you know, it was —
It was like singing the — you know, you leave
a Broadway musical singing the song,
you know you have a hit. -I mean, everyone did it. -Who knew in 2018, we’d be
having these conversations. -I know.
-It’s unbelievable. -But, I mean — when you
caught the fly with the — [ Laughter ] I mean, I got —
This is, what, 1983? -1983, we shot it. Yeah, yeah.
-Was it CGI? -No, I wish.
Now you’d just go like this, and they’d add the fly in. No, this story —
It’s a great story. We went through, like,
five incarnations of how to figure out
how to catch this fly. First they had like
a big metal pipe frame, maybe a four-foot frame
with a piece of fishing line and a plastic fly
and there was two crew guys off-camera going like this — [ Laughter ]
And I was going like that. It just looked hideous.
It looked hideous. And the next thing is
they were catching flies. Crew guys were catching flies, and they were taking
thin monofilament and fishing line and literally lassoing these flies,
like, putting them on a leash. [ Audience groans ]
-Yeah. -And so they said,
“Just find the thing and go down to the fly.” Well, I was decapitating,
like, heads going here — [ Audience groans ] Like, you know, it was just —
sorry for those who care for the flies. -Yeah.
-But I will say this, there was one fly
that we had on this leash for about a minute and a half. And we would show —
and they’re getting ready for the lights and let’s go
and rolling sounds, speaking to how long it takes
before you actually shoot. -Of course.
-And this fly was like — [ Laughter ] That was the end of that.
-And then he was like, “Just go for it, man.”
-Just go for it. Just hang with it.
We wound up — the funniest one, my favorite,
was when they said, “Okay, what we’re going to is
going to put the fly on a — on a piece of a fishing line.
-Okay. -And you’ll have it there
and then let it go and just act in reverse
and we’ll play it forwards. [ Laughter ]
So — which went like this. It was like — [ Laughter ]
-That’s good. -That never made it
in the movie. -That’s good acting. I mean, it’s an iconic scene,
I mean, come on, dude. -Oh, that’s it.
Yeah, I got it, I got it. -There he is, right there.
You catch him — [ Cheers and applause ] -With the headband.
-Yeah, yeah. -Everyone had to have
asked you to redo “The Karate Kid”
or reboot it or do it. Why now?
Why did you decide to do this? I’m so excited about this.
-That’s great. It’s — we’re very excited
about the show. I mean, I — for 30 years,
we all said, “No.” I certainly — I did. I was one of the last guys
to come to the party. I always felt
that maintaining — keeping the legacy as it was
is probably the best thing, as opposed to going back to
the well and falling short. These three great creators —
guys came to me, along with William Zabka
and everyone else — -William Zabka’s back!
-Yeah, Zabka’s back. Johnny Lawrence.
-Johnny Lawrence is back! -Claiming — claiming it was
an illegal Crane Kick, but we know better. [ Laughter ] -Are you kidding me?!
-No, but anyway… -What do you —
I mean, do you end up — because you end up managing — running dojos, right,
or competing? -Well, he reopens
the Cobra Kai dojo. -Oh, no.
-Which is — for Daniel Larusso, it’s Kryptonite to Superman. That’s not going to happen.
-No, that can’t happen. -And, so, therein
lies the rivalry. And what’s so —
part of the humor of the show is the fact that these guys
in their 50s will not let it go. [ Laughter ] And then there’s also —
you know, it also is a continuation
in the sense that it has, you know,
great heart, give you some goose pumps,
kick-ass action scenes, great young actors,
and just a great buzz to this, such great anticipation. -Come on you’re the best.
“Cobra Kai.” [ Cheers and applause ]
It’s May 2nd. YouTube Red. I want to show a clip. Here’s Ralph Macchio
in the new series “Cobra Kai.” Take a look.
-Come here. Louie, get over here.
I want you to meet somebody. -No, no. I got to go.
-No, no, no. This is Johnny Lawrence. He and I go way back,
right, buddy? This guy was the toughest dude
in my high school. When I first moved here
from Jersey, he and I, we got into it
a little bit. This guy really
had it in for me. -Yeah, well, you did
move in on my girl. -Well, she actually wasn’t really your girl anymore,
was she? I mean — Ah, all right. It’s all water under the bridge. -Wait, is this the karate guy?
The guy from the tournament? -Oh, this is the guy
whose ass you kicked? -Uh, Listen,
it was a really close match, but if you want to get
technical, I kicked his face. [ Laughter ] I’m just bustin’ your chops. -It was an illegal kick. -Ooh! [ Audience oohs ] Come on.
Ralph Macchio, everybody! “Cobra Kai” is available
on YouTube Red.