Isaac Barinholtz is an American actor, comedian, director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his roles in The Mindy Project, Neighbors and Suicide Squad. In 2018, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in The Oath. In this biography, Barinholtz tells his story in his own words.

Ike Barinholtz Bio: Early Life, Family, Education

Barinholtz was born on February 18, 1977 (Ike Barinholtz age: 42) to Peggy and Alan Barinholtz. He and his brother Jon Barinholtz, who starred in the sitcom Superstore, grew up in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood. The Barinholtz family was tight-knit and honored their Jewish faith by enrolling their son in the religious Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. He attended The Latin School of Chicago and studied briefly at Boston University before dropping out.

Barinholtz moved between a number of jobs after leaving college. He first worked at the Chicago Transit Authority, followed by a restaurant and a telemarketing company. He was inspired to pursue a career in comedy after attending stand-up shows.

Ike Barinholtz Bio: Career

After moving to Los Angeles, Barinholtz took improvisational acting classes with The Second City, Annoyance Theatre and ImprovOlympics. He joined the cast of MADtv in 2002 and rose to greater prominence the next year as a repertory performer. Barinholtz wrote 26 episodes of the show and performed a song on its eleventh season. He often paired with Josh Meyers and Bobby Lee for sketches throughout his MADtv career, which drew to a close in 2007.

Though MADtv was Barinholtz’s main focus during his five seasons on the show, he also acted in films to diversify his portfolio. In 2005, he appeared in The Adventures of Big Handsome Guy and His Little Friend as well as Love, Fear and Rabbits. Following his departure from MADtv, Barinholtz acted in the 2007 films Bunny Whipped and Twisted Fortune. The next year, he appeared in Meet the Spartans, Disaster Movie, Lock and Roll Forever and one episode of Family Guy. Barinholtz guest-starred in two episodes of Rita Rocks and voiced Steve in the dramedy Shrink in 2009.

The actor held a few minor TV and movie roles over the next two years before landing a six-episode stint on the show Eastbound & Down. This role was considered Barinholtz’s first big break on television. Also in 2012, he guest-starred in the series NTSF:SD:SUV, then wrote and produced the movie Megawinner.

Barinholtz’s most notable achievement in 2012, however, was securing his role as Morgan Tookers on Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project. This series ran from 2012 to 2017 and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award, earning 24 additional nominations and 7 awards. Barinholtz had a significant influence on the series, not only appearing in 116 episodes but also directing four, writing 27 and producing 64. Barinholtz was among the castmates nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in 2013.

During his time on The Mindy Project, Barinholtz remained active on the sets of other shows and movies. He acted in six episodes of The League between 2010 and 2015 and 30 of The Awesomeness. In 2013, Barinholtz starred as Telly in the movie Inventing Adam and as his usual character in the short The Morgan Project. He also appeared in the short The Sidekick and guest-starred on the shows Drunk History and High School USA!

2014 was another busy year for Barinholtz. He was featured alongside Seth Rogen and Zac Efron in the blockbuster Neighbors, reappearing two years later in its sequel. Also in 2014, Barinholtz starred in four episodes of the show Chozen and one episode each of Kroll Show, Married, Garfunkel and Oats and American Dad! After directing the miniseries Pie Guys, he acted in the 2015 comedy Sisters.

Barinholtz expanded his repertoire in 2016 by venturing into voice acting. He voiced Tiny in The Angry Birds Movie, multiple characters in Storks, Alan in Animals and A.J. in the video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The same year, Barinholtz wrote his first screenplay: Central Intelligence. He also played Griggs in the Oscar-winning action film Suicide Squad. This movie also featured stars like Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto and Viola Davis.

2017 was an important year in Barinholtz’s career. As The Mindy Show drew to a close, he occupied his time with the films Bright, Snatched and The Disaster Artist Movie. Barinholtz also appeared in one episode of the shows Neo Yokio and Kings of Con and two episodes of Friends from College. The next year, he fractured two neck vertebrae while performing his own stunt fall in the comedy Blockers.

Barinholtz more than bounced back from his injury. Later in 2018, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in the thriller-comedy The Oath. Barinholtz plays Chris, husband of Tiffany Haddish’s character Kai, whose joint attempts to make it through Thanksgiving dinner are thwarted by unforeseen obstacles. 

Check out a trailer for The Oath below.

Ike Barinholtz Bio: Exclusive Interview on ‘The Oath’ and Tiffany Haddish

In October 2018, Barinholtz sat down with uInterview to discuss his film The Oath and its leading actress. The movie takes place the week of Thanksgiving in the home of a couple whose extended families fall “all over the political spectrum.” Barinholtz described The Oath as half “family comedy” about holiday fights and half “bloody thriller” about a family bonding against forces of political evil.

Barinholtz cited the 2016 election and ensuing political chaos as the inspiration for his work. “I think the word that sums up American politics in 2018 is ‘absurd,’” he told uInterview. “Personally, I’m a liberal, and I wish I could say it’s only absurd on one side, but it’s pretty crazy all over the spectrum.”

He revealed that his aim with The Oath was to illuminate the madness of all American political groups. “We really don’t spare anyone,” Barinholtz explained. “We go after the right, we really go after the left, we go after the center … I think if you’re going to make satire, you have to kind of shine a light on everyone’s foibles, and I think we definitely do that. There’s something in it for everyone, no matter where you lie on the spectrum.”

As satisfied as Barinholtz was with his final product, he attributed most of its success to others on set. He explained that prior to directing The Oath, he had only dipped his toe into behind-the-scenes work while filming The Mindy Project. As such, Barinholtz relied upon his “task-oriented” to “really stay on the ball” throughout the filming and production processes. “I hired great people,” he said, “and they really killed it for me.”

The actor gave his co-star Haddish even more glowing reviews. “There’s a reason why I think America has fallen in love with her,” he told uInterview exclusively. “She’s just infectious and so real and just funny and amazing.” He described the “crazy” stories Haddish would tell on set, such as receiving a text from Oprah Winfrey while filming. Speaking on behalf of The Oath’s cast and crew, Barinholtz said of Haddish, “We love her.”

Check out the full autobiographical interview at the top of this page.

Ike Barinholtz Bio: Recent Projects 

Barinholtz has kept busy since the release of The Oath. In 2019, he acted in the movie Late Night and voiced Lex Luther in The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. He also guest-starred on one episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and in the Twilight Zone revival. Additionally, Jimmy Kimmel hosted Barinholtz in live adaptations of Norman Lear’s sitcoms All in the Family and The Jeffersons.

Barinholtz has since starred in The Hunt, a thriller scheduled to release later in 2019. He will appear in the series Bless the Harts and the movie Happy Life, which he is also set to produce.

Ike Barinholtz Bio: Personal Life, Wife, Dating, Spouse, Children, Quotes

Barinholtz married the reality TV actress Erica Hanson in 2009. They live in Los Angeles with their three daughters.

“I’m a big crier in general. The right life insurance commercial will take me out for a couple of days.”

“You don’t want to have to come into work on Monday already apologizing. I try to save my apologies for what I’ve done later in the week.”