- Martin Kove has played Sensei John Kreese ever since the original Karate Kid. In Season 3 of Cobra Kai his son, Jesse—also an actor—made a key appearance in a flashback scene.
- Jesse Kove appeared in Season 3 Episode 2, titled “Nature vs. Nurture.”
- He played a Varsity Captain who bullies the younger version of his father’s character, John Kreese.
Does Sensei John Kreese—the ultimate villain of the Karate Kid universe—have a child? That’s a pretty terrifying thought for anyone who’s followed the movies, and, now, Cobra Kai. But with the 30-ish year timegap between the movies and Cobra Kai, well, we don’t really know. But fans might find it interesting to know that Martin Kove—who’s played Kreese all along—has a son of his own, Jesse Kove, also an actor. And he played a small role in Season 3 that fans will certainly recall.
Jesse appeared in Episode 2 of Season 3, titled “Nature Vs. Nurture.” He played “Varsity Captain/David,” who was the jock who bullied young John Kreese when he was working in the diner; eventually, the jock’s girlfriend became Kreese’s girlfriend—before he deployed to Vietnam.
Both Koves talked about their experiences in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “It was such an honor to play in this world that I was brought up around my whole life,” Jesse said. “It felt like I was joining this legacy of The Karate Kid universe but it also felt like this dream experience. How could I ever be in this universe? And these flashbacks were a perfect vehicle for that. I hope I made my dad proud.”
And Martin revealed that he was in the diner, on set when the flashback scene was being filmed. He couldn’t help but tell the story of how much praise some other people present were heaping on his son.
“As soon as I walked in, the writers are in media village and they’re all watching this scene that Jesse is in because he had an earlier call time than me,” Martin said. “They stopped me and said, ‘Your son is just killing it!’ I hadn’t even had a chance to say good morning yet…I felt like a million bucks.”
Jesse is active on social media, and has used his platform to share his gratitude not only for appearing in the same universe as his father’s long-running villainous character, but seems to have just generally had a great time on the show.