Thursday, September 11, 2014
William Zabka: Blast From The Bast!
William (Billy) Zabka wasn't really on my radar when I was growing up. One of his biggest roles was in The Karate Kid series of films in the 80's and for some reason those movies repelled me back then...they still do. I am sure that I would like them if I gave them a shot, but there was something about the film that had me turning, or tuning, away at every opportunity.
My first memory of Billy, I guess predictably, involved a little less clothing than his white Karate Gi. That piece of clothing was red in fact, a red speedo he wore in the Rodney Dangerfield flick Back To School. I remember our family renting the movie in the late eighties, and my sneaking back to the rec room to rewind Zabka's diving scenes, standing on the diving board in his speedo, high above the University swimming pool.
It is funny how memories get buried until the just the right trigger. Some sadly are lost forever, but sometimes some get uncovered in the unlikeliest of places. Never really a fan of How I Met Your Mother, it was a sit-com I rarely watched unless using it as background sound while working around the house or multi-tasking something for work.
In 2013, it was an episode featuring Zabka, that had me flashing back to the past. Zabka appeared as himself seven times on the CBS sit-com in 2013 and 2014. After seeing Zabka on the show, I IMDB'd Billy to find he has worked fairly steadily since his debut in the eighties. I had also forgotten about another VHS mainstay that Zabka co-starred in, One Of The Boys, next on my cue of Billy movies to check out!
Karate Kid (1984)
Back To School (1986)