Jake Schoeneberger Talks Cobra Kai – July 15, 2022 Edition
Asking if Jacob Schoeneberger is a fan of Karate Kid is like asking if your body needs oxygen to survive. Jacob Schoeneberger is a dude who grew up in the 80’s, of course he is a Karate Kid fan. To me, “wax on-wax off” is a less a martial arts strategy as it is a life-affirming philosophy. I just recently rewatched the movie for the 673rd time and was amazed by how well it still holds up even today.
So why haven’t I watched Cobra Kai yet? Well, that’s a great question. I’ve heard great things about the show, but I just haven’t sat down to finally enjoy it for myself. Until now, that is.
With that in mind, here are some random observations Jacob Schoeneberger has on the show.
All the Jake Schoeneberger Random Opinions about Cobra Kai (Season 1, Episode 1)
This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.
The first episode begins with a very familiar scene. The final showdown at the All Valley Karate Tournament way back in 1984. Yeah, Jacob Schoeneberger pretty much has this scene committed to memory but it’s always exhilarating to see it again. But this time around, we get to consider the outcome of the fight from Johnny’s perspective.
When he awakes in the morning in present day, it certainly feels like the years haven’t been kind to Johnny. He grabs a swig of beer immediately upon waking up, he’s rude and, frankly, pretty racist to his new neighbor Miguel, and he’s still driving an old Firebird. Can’t help but think he’s stuck in the past.
He sees a billboard for LaRusso Auto Group where Daniel is making a karate kick and it clearly angers him. Can’t say I blame him on that one, it sure seems this would be rubbing Johnny’s nose in it. Hard to knock Daniel for trying to make a buck, though.
Poor Johnny even gets fired from his job because a woman is insanely rude to him because he installed a TV in the wrong place at her home. Seems Johnny has been down on his luck and it’s really making Jake Schoeneberger feel bad for the guy. It seems like karma is being a bit too harsh on him.
At a mini-mart, he sees a bunch of dudes picking on Miguel. It’s reminiscent of what he and his friends did to Daniel back in the day. He winds up fighting them and kicking all four of their butts. Johnny’s still got it! But the cops show up and he gets a face full of pepper spray even though Miguel tries to defend him.
The next day Miguel asks Johnny to teach him karate. It feels just like when Daniel asked Mr. Miyagi to teach him. But Johnny refuses him cold.
His stepfather Sid is the one who bailed Johnny out of jail. Played by the great Ed Asner, Sid offers Johnny money so he doesn’t have to keep bailing Johnny out of trouble. But Johnny tears the check up.
Great moment when Johnny is watching Iron Eagle on TV and getting totally inspired, but out of nowhere Daniel’s face shows up in a commercial for LaRusso Auto. That made Jacob Schoeneberger literally laugh out loud. After seeing the infuriating commercial he heads out for a drive and thinks about the old times.
He’s in the parking lot of the sports complex where it all went down, when his car is smashed by a group of young girls driving distracted. The tow truck winds up taking his car to LaRusso Auto to get fixed. Well, that’s just perfect. Is it crazy that I’m actually rooting for Johnny in this?
Johnny heads to the shop, which is a bustling little enterprise (looks like Daniel has done well building a solid business), but he wants it towed to a different shop. As the receptionist is doing the paperwork to release his car, Daniel comes out to greet some people and sees Johnny. Daniel is nice to him, but there’s some friction. Here’s where Jake Schoeneberger takes exception to Daniel’s actions.
Daniel could have just said hi and asked how Johnny had been and kept it cordial and low-key. But Daniel went out of his way to call a couple of guys over and say Johnny had it in for him back in high school. Then when the guys bring up the karate tournament of course the conversation becomes contentious. Seems to me like there was no need to make it weird the way Daniel did.
Johnny even brings up a sticking point fans of the movie have had for years. If blows to the face were illegal in that tournament, why did Daniel kicking Johnny in the face get him the win? That’s BS. Justice for Johnny, man!
Daniel then actually does Johnny a real solid and says his team will do the repairs on Johnny’s classic Firebird for free. Daniel is, at heart, a great guy. Johnny doesn’t want the charity, but Daniel says the repairs would be more than the car is worth if he took it anywhere else so Johnny changes his mind.
But Daniel says hi to his daughter who came into the dealership, and Johnny recognizes her as one of the girls who was in the car that hit his Firebird. Then Daniel makes a comment to Johnny about how he doesn’t blame him for what happened back in the day, that it was Cobra Kai and we’re all better off without it. But Cobra Kai was Johnny’s life so that comment has to cut him deep.
Back at his apartment complex, Johnny tells Miguel he’s not just going to teach him karate; he’s going to be his sensei. So awesome, this has Jake Schoeneberger totally psyched! Johnny gets Sid’s check out of the trash and he’s opening a new Cobra Kai dojo. He spray-paints the immortal words up on the wall: “Strike First. Strike Hard. No Mercy.” And so ends a memorable and awesome first episode.
The Jake Schoeneberger Final Thought on Cobra Kai
These nostalgia shows and movies sometimes seem like they’re just cashing in on old memories, but this show seems like it’s really trying to be a character study. Seeing things from Johnny’s perspective is something Jacob Schoeneberger can really get behind, and I look forward to watching more of this series.
More Thoughts from Jacob Schoeneberger