Martin Kove • Cobra Kai Bad Guy
Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchill
His sneer is priceless, his menace his calling card. Veteran actor Martin Kove, best known as the villainous dojo master from The Karate Kid and “Cobra Kai,” has been a passionate cigar smoker for 25 years. He began with Royal Jamaicas, but after a trip to Vancouver he fell in love with Cubans, particularly robustos. “I smoke robustos of every [Cuban] brand,” he says, speaking from his new home in Nashville, Tennessee. He smokes a lot of Partagás Serie D No. 4s, and also enjoys the occasional Ramon Allones Specially Selected, but on a trip to Cuba he was introduced to Romeo y Julieta Wide Churchills. They have become his all-time favorite.
Kove’s most famous character, the delightfully evil sensei John Kreese, first appeared in three Karate Kid movies, starting in 1984. “Cobra Kai,” which debuted in 2018, continues the story with the characters considerably older, if not wiser, and it’s delivering huge ratings for Netflix. Season Five returns on September 9. “The great thing about ‘Cobra Kai,’ it’s a family show, everyone can get around the TV and watch it,” says Kove. As for his way of blowing off steam? Sitting outdoors and puffing a cigar. “It’s the height of my level of relaxation.”