Inside Mitch Hara's Creative Universe

From SMOTHERED Success To His Award Winning Solo Show MUTANT OLIVE 2.0 Touring the country

Inside Mitch Hara's Creative Universe

By Anthony T. Eaton

Recently I met up with Mitch Hara at Sony Studios. Mitch, known for his roles as an Actor, Writer, and Director, is also the co-star and co-creator of the popular short form series SMOTHERED (season 1 & 2) alongside his longtime friend, co-star, and co-creator Jason Stuart. Together they brought their unique wit to both seasons alongside an outstanding supporting cast.

My initial conversation with Mitch took place before the COVID era, shortly after the release of the first season of SMOTHERED. In our recent catch-up, Mitch and I talk about the pandemic, the recent writers’ strike and his creative journey. Once again Mitch brings his whole personality as we sit down to talk.

SMOTHERED is the story of a "hateful gay couple (Mitch Hara and Jason Stuart) who can't stand each other but can't afford to get divorced. The "boys" attempt to salvage their hideous relationship in therapy hell." Hugely successful, the series was quickly picked up for a second season.

AE: Mitch, it’s been almost three years since we first talked about SMOTHERED, how long after the end of the first season did you start working on the season? Did you know it would be such a success?

MH: I don’t do years. I don’t know when things happen. I just know that they did. And, YES I knew it would be a monster hit. Amazon called us “Comedy Gold.” I love my creations. And, I love when they are hugely embarrassed. I actually knew what the 2nd season would be while we were editing the 1st season. I write really fast and I knew where I wanted the story and my character to go and grow. We wanted more dimension and 25 new guest stars! And we got ‘em. Season One, Adam Sandler's people were incredibly helpful. They love me and the project. And I love to be loved.

AE: Where did you shoot the second season?

MH: We shot a lot here at Sony and some in Adam's bungalow, and he gave me his editor, who was amazing. Then Adam started touring the country with his stand-up show and took his people with him. So, I found the gift of gifts, my new editor, Rob Padgett whose magic.

Rob is sensitive, funny, and knows moments. He’s my go-to for all my projects. He finished season 1 & all of season 2 and two of my other projects. Pealing The Stinky Onion & Mutant Olive 2.0. He knows our voices and pace and makes everything better. 1st season is seven five-minute episodes and went viral in 3 weeks. Season 2 is 8 ten-minute episodes and went viral in 2.5 weeks. Fast and furious, baby. And our fearless director Carlyle King is my secret weapon. She’s exactly what I wanted. She’s an ‘actor’s director.” Plus, she speaks Mitch. We are creative soulmates.

AE: Without spoiling, can you share a little about season two?

MH: It's great. Our characters get arrested at the end of season one, so we open up with that, and we do three episodes in jail. How they get out is really fun, my character has sex with “someone” and has it on tape. Shuuuu. And, my character Randy is still my character; you know, he's seductive, hilarious, inappropriate & irreverent. I love him. And Jason’s is still Ralph and mostly Edith Bunker with a little more balls.

AE: Your character has an edge; how is he different in the second season?

MH: I wanted him to be more than just caustic, funny, and evil. He's still caustic, funny and evil but also sensitive and in season 2 he finds a heart. He surprises you in the coolest ways.

At the end of season one we actually separate. But we still couldn't afford to get divorced, and the only place that would take us after our release, is the LGBT center. But you had to be a couple, and it's a one-room efficiency. So now we can't get away from each other, and we're like more handcuffed than we were in jail where they kept putting us in the same cell because everybody else wanted to kill us because we were so horrible, annoying and there were a lot of rules I didn't understand. Plus, there’s a whole new mafia connection with my parents that is fabulous and intriguing.

AE: How has the reaction been?

MH: It went viral already. People love it even more than season 1. You know, I think it’s amazing. Jason hates when I praise our work. He’d rather do that phoney humble crap. Why? I love it. Why wait for someone else to tell me? We're up for more awards. The Indie Series Awards for Best Actor, Best Series, and Best Co-stars, I mean Amanda Bearse, from Married with Children. The Neighbor is in it, Ada Rodriguez, who's got an HBO special. Nicole Evans is amazing (in Super Store). Armand Fields (the reboot of Queer as Folk). Inclusive is very important to us and season two reflects that even more. It was like: not gender-specific, not color-specific, not anything specific, parts that were written for a man, were played by a woman and vice versa. Talent got the job, period. We cast how we want to see the world.

Similar to season one, the cast is comprised of a wildly diverse group of actors portraying just as diverse characters. Amanda Bearse, Linna Carter, Jasper Cole, Robert Costanzo, Ivan Davila, Nic Few, Kareem Ferguson, Armand Fields, Ellen Gerstein, Carole Goldman, Byron Quiros, Aida Rodriguez, Jai Rodriguez, Krishna Smitha, Samantha Tan, Karen Tarleton, Joshua Bardier, Mercedes Steele, Nicole Lynn Evans, Robb Padgett, Susan Hooper, DawnMarie Ferrara, Vasilios Filippakis, and Carole Ita White.

Mitch and I briefly talk about the recent writer's strike and how that and COVID created the perfect creative opportunities for him and what we can expect.

MH: The pandemic was amazing. The pandemic and the strike wound up being a very creative time because there were no voices, and there was nothing you had to do. During the pandemic itself, I wrote and shot a screenplay, I wrote a series. I wrote another one-man show. I rode my bike 20 miles a day. It was creative bliss. OH and I was hired to do a pilot directed by Ilana Glazer (Broad City) costaring Colton Haynes (arrow) Eliot Glazer & me. I RUN HOT.

AE: You were just booked to do your one man show “Mutant Olive 2.0” in the acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festive in August 2024; how did that come about?

MH: “Mutant Olive 2.0” has been so successful. I was sold out for 18 weeks, and people from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival came, saw my show, and said, "You'd kill in Edinburgh." And I was like, “I’m sure.” And they said, "We want you to bring it to Edinburgh." And I was like, “Well, I’m already packed.” So, I was on my way to London anyway in August 2023, and then to Greece, you know, to have a casual debauchery time.

They said, "Why don't you just stop over and pick a venue?" and I said, boom-done. So, I took a four-hour train ride from London to Edinburgh where I saw eight venues, picked a theater, and I am doing the entire month of August 2024. 30 performances in a row at the very famous Gilded Balloon July 31st-Aug 25th. I’m adding new very shocking new material. So, it’s me and Carlyle King going global this year!!!! I’m so psyched.

In “Mutant Olive 2.0”, Mitch gives life to alter-ego Adam Astra, an actor whose past seems to constantly seep into his present. Breaking the fourth wall, Astra gleefully spoons out tales of his soul-sucking childhood, monstrous substance abuse, rampant sex, crashed cars & a black cape — all during the course of an audition for Hamilton "unplugged".

AE: Your turning "Mutant Olive 2.0" into a film, how did that come about?

MH: "Mutant Olive 2.0" I always saw cinematically and as an incredibly effecting idie. Luckily everyone else feels the same way. I've got investors on board, which is pretty thrilling. We're working towards bringing this uniquely universal story to the big screen. The reaction to this show has been phenomenal. The reviews are insanely great. I won 4 solo festivals in NYC and 3 in LA.

With Mutant Olive, people laugh their ass off, and then they cry. And then they laugh, and then they cry. I mean, it's an emotional rollercoaster, and I love that. Me and the audience go on the ride together. Every show is a unique ride. I love it so much. There is no 4th wall. We are in this together. I drive into the theatre; everyone gets in my runaway train and nobody gets off till we smash into the proverbial wall. It’s what I live for.

AE: After that your show “I’m dead, I don’t care” will premier in LA” What can you share about that show?

MH: It's me conducting my own eulogy. Totally funeral themed. I thought, I'm not going to be there when it happens, so I want to say what I want to say, and I'm going to actually give people testimonials to read as if it's theirs. I'm going to have songs, I'm going to have singers, and I'm going to have tributes. We're going to go down memory lane. "I'm Dead, I Don't Care." Is one of the new one-man show’s and the other is "Mommy's a Whore, Daddy's a Hitman!”

Mitch has been very candid about being “Raised by speed-freak alcoholics, an experience that shaped his unique voice and eccentric view of the world. Mitch says, "I never take 'no' for an answer. For me, everything is YES. So 'no' is just a slow yes." His inner child is alive & well and ready to play!

AE: "Mommy’s a whore, Daddy’s a hitman” is a very interesting title, I have to ask what it’s about?

MH: .Ha. It’s another slice of my life. It’s about my family in the Jewish mafia, which I’ve never used before. But everyone’s dead now, so here it comes!!! My mom banged everyone in the neighborhood and my dad shot people in the head. Tends to lend itself to humor and drama. I mean, there's nothing precious or sacred with me.

"Mommy's a Whore, Daddy's a Hitman." Is also being developed into a screenplay.

"Mommy's a Whore, Daddy's a Hitman" and "I'm Dead, I Don't Care"
take a unique approach with a thrilling narrative.
Expect humor, music, and tributes—it's going to be an exciting blend.

AE: What has it been like working for and with Sony?

MH: Sony has been fantastic; they've created an incredibly supportive culture. They’ve been so supportive of my talent and my projects. And they also came down to my show, which is shocking. The heads of the studio came down to my show. We're talking, all of casting, all of development, they just came down. I was, like, shocked. It's a workplace that values creativity and individuality.

AE: What were their reactions to your show?

MH: They were blown away. And they told everyone, “You have to see Hara!” All the execs from London came down with their wives. It was crazy; I would see them because I attacked the audience in the beginning. I come from the audience. It all takes place in this audition, so I make people the director, producer, casting and try and seduce the into casting me for a part I’m not remotely right for. It's a show within a show; I just improvise with whomever. It's a gas. Sony is an inclusive and joyful place to work.

Mitch extends his appreciation for the support and encouragement provided by Sony. He commends the studio's leadership, for fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment. In my brief time at the studio, it's clear that there is a sense of fulfillment among the staff.

AE: What is coming up for you? Are there any recent additions or exciting prospects you can share?

MH: Hell, yes. I recently auditioned for Jennifer Aniston's coach, and he seemed to love what I bring to the table. So, we're looking forward to working together to make me every more magical. It's an exciting time with various projects in the pipeline. I'm writing and working on new shows, exploring the possibilities. To all the fabulous people who support and love my art, get ready, I’m gonna blow all your skirts up far over your heads! The closer I get to death, who gives a sh*t? I’m fearless, raw, shockingly hysterical and as always, I can’t do it without my audience. We go on the ride together. I love them. So, fasten your seatbelts darlins, my new projects will make you laugh and cry and scream all at the same time.

AE: Thank you, Mitch, for sharing your stories, insights, and laughter with us. We look forward to the continued success of SMOTHERED, and I look forward to going to see the upcoming one-man show and doing a review of it.

MH: Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.

For more about SMOTHERED visit To learn more about and connect with Mitch Hara visit his website