Book Review: Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me By Ralph Macchio (Penguin Random House)

By: Jesse Striewski

Everyone’s favorite Karate Kid Ralph Macchio describes what it was like to go from near total anonymously, to a literal pop culture phenomenon in the blink of an eye during the mid-’80s in his new memoir, Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me.

From start to finish, it’s a fascinating ride that wastes no time getting to the good stuff. Macchio simply glosses over his upbringing and acting roots before offering behind-the-scenes insight on landing the breakout role that would forever change his life. Everything from the audition process, meeting his co-star Noriyuki Pat Morita initially, to seeing the original film on the big screen for the first time with a public audience, is covered in great detail here.

Macchio of course addresses the aftermath of being typecasted for many years, his feelings on the sequels (I especially found it interesting he’s still never viewed The Next Karate Kid from start to finish to this day!), and the path that eventually lead him to the hit series Cobra Kai alongside his former co-star William Zabka.

Truthfully, there’s not much more one can ask for from a biography than this, and I only wish they could all be as direct to the point as Waxing On. The only “complaint” (if you can even call it that) is I would’ve liked just a tad more elaboration on a few things, for instance the making of Part III. But if you’re as in to geeky nostalgia like I am, than this is the book for you (or at the very least it’ll make a great Christmas present for someone on your list who is).

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars