Cobra Kai’s Ralph Macchio Was Passed Over For Both Friends & ER

Cobra Kai’s Ralph Macchio reflects on missing out on both Friends and ER in the 1990s. The actor has been enjoying an undeniable career resurgence in a somewhat unlikely fashion, as one of the main stars of the immensely popular Cobra Kai. At a time when a lot of properties are being revived all the time, the Netflix continuation of Karate Kid has the distinction of being both beloved by audiences and critics. The show has received an Emmy nomination, in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, and audiences are always eager to find out new updates about the characters and the world that they’re a part of.

Macchio has embraced Karate Kid’s legacy even prior to the Netflix spinoff, in which he would make appearances in television shows and movies that would wink at his memorable portrayal of Daniel LaRusso. The most notable example of this is when Macchio reprised the role of Daniel for a very meta How I Met Your Mother guest turn. But as the co-lead of Cobra Kai, along with William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Macchio has shown that there are ways to resurrect a franchise that can still feel fresh and worthwhile. Still, he admits that his career could have gone very differently.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Guardian, in which Macchio promoted his new memoir Waxing On, the actor reflected on the different projects he could have starred in. Macchio mentions that, in 1994, the same year ER and Friends would debut on NBC, he had a contract to star in television shows for the network and had filmed several episodes of a show that never aired. See what Macchio shared below:

“I was on an overall deal with the studio that was casting both Friends and ER. And somehow I wasn’t put in either of them. But do you want to know the truth of it? From where I’m sitting now? It was the best thing. The right people get the right parts. »

Macchio isn’t the only recognizable name that could have landed on Friends. Jon Cryer, who would go on to be known for Two and a Half Men, auditioned for Chandler. Vince Vaughn had also tried out for Joey, as did Hank Azaria, though Azaria would end up nabbing the recurring role of David later in the show’s run. Kathy Griffin had gone for Phoebe, while Will & Grace’s Eric McCormack aimed for Ross and Kristin Davis auditioned for Monica. All of these actors would go on to be known for other high-profile movies and shows, pointing to Macchio’s belief that the right performers eventually find the right roles.

It’s hard to imagine that Cobra Kai would be possible if Macchio was cast as one of the six main characters on Friends or even if he’d had a long-running tenure on ER. Oftentimes, for better or worse, actors get linked to certain roles, and it can be difficult to break free of that association. But thankfully, as Macchio articulates, things worked out as they were meant to, especially as Cobra Kai continues to be a hit for both the Daniel actor and Netflix.