18 Things to Know About Jewish Actor Ike Barinholtz

It was a "dream come true" for the "History of the World Part II" star to work with Mel Brooks.

You may not know the name Ike Barinholtz, but odds are, you probably know his face. The Jewish actor, who has been working over the last 20 years, has been in a truly astounding number of shows and movies throughout his career.

Perhaps most excitingly, though, is that Barinholtz (alongside numerous other talented actors and comedians) will be starring in “History of the World Part II,” a follow-up series to Mel Brooks’ 1981 movie “History of the World Part I.”

So now seems like a great time to learn a little more about the history of its starring Jewish actor.

Here are 18 things to know about Ike Barinholtz.

1. Ike Barinholtz was born on February 18, 1977, in Chicago to a Jewish family.

2. His first name is actually Isaac! (Perhaps after the second Hebrew patriarch?)

3. He has a brother Jon, who is also an actor.

4. His Bubbe Miriam and Zayde Sam served in World War II

5. Ike got his start in comedy at a young age.

“I grew up with very funny people and in a very funny home. My parents are liberal people with great senses of humor. By trying to fit in, you become funny,” he told the Chicago Tribune.

6. He attended a Jewish day school! More specifically, he attended  Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. For high school, he went to The Latin School of Chicago.

7. Ike briefly attended Boston University. After dropping out, he moved back to Chicago and started working for the Chicago Transit Authority.

8. Ike decided to try comedy after seeing the Improv Olympic’s 15th anniversary show. Shortly thereafter he started taking classes at The Second City, the iO Theater and the Annoyance Theater.

9. In 2002, Ike joined the cast of “MADtv.”

Here’s a sketch where he teaches fellow cast member Jordan Peele how to drive:

10. Ike has been married to his wife Erica since 2009 and they have three daughters.

“She’s not allowed to,” Ike once (jokingly) said about his first daughter dating in the future. “I’m Jewish, but with any luck she’ll be a nun and take her vows early and never have to worry about it.”

11. In 2012, Ike was cast as Nurse Morgan Tookers on “The Mindy Project.” He was also a writer on the show and claims he wrote a joke said by the character Peter, played by Adam Pally.

12. He knows how to play the shofar (kinda)!

Go off, Ike!

13. Ike worked out for his role in “Suicide Squad.”

“It was pretty amazing,” he told Vulture. “They have these great trainers, a lot of guys from Gym Jones, which is this big training company. They pick you up in the morning and drive you to this giant gym that, like, Will Smith built and you do things that Jewish comedy writers like me don’t do a whole lot.”

14. He makes some delicious-looking latkes!

15. Ike made his directorial debut in 2018 with the comedy movie “The Oath.”

16. On “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Ike played Gintars, the Latvian birthfather of Detective Boyle’s adopted son Nikolaj.

17. Ike starred in AppleTV+’s “The Afterparty” alongside fellow Jews Ilana Glazer, Ben Schwartz, Tiffany Haddish and James Franco.

Check out Ike, Ilana and Sam Richardson handing out some cast superlatives:

18. Mel Brooks is “a personal hero” of Ike’s, and it was a dream come for him to work with Brooks on “History of the World Part II.”

Check out this still from the upcoming series where Barinholtz appears to be playing Leon Trotsky!

Evelyn Frick

Evelyn Frick (she/they) is a writer and associate editor at Hey Alma. She graduated from Vassar College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. In her spare time, she's a comedian and contributor for Reductress and The Onion.

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