Culture

Ike Barinholtz

Isaac “Ike” Barinholtz almost became a politician. Instead, Barinholtz is now the writer and actor behind one of TV’s funniest characters, Morgan Tookers, the ex-con-turned-nurse on Hulu’s “The Mindy Project,” and will play opposite Amy Poehler and Tina Fey in the upcoming “Sisters.”

Growing up, the Chicago native attended the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School and then The Latin School of Chicago for high school. But it was when the Boston University dropout went to a show at Second City that he was bitten by the improv comedy bug. Barinholtz, 38, performed at local theaters before moving to Los Angeles, where he couldn’t find a job and was even, he says, passed over for the role of the Onion in a Quiznos commercial. He was devastated.

But endless auditions helped him land a role as a cast member on “MADtv.” A recurring role on “The League” and a hilarious stint as a Russian baseball phenom in HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” followed, getting the attention of Mindy Kaling and propelling his career.

Barinholtz is reprising his role as Seth Rogen’s clueless sidekick in the comedy “Neighbors 2” and will star in one of the most awaited films of 2016, “The Suicide Squad.”

He is married to TV producer Erica Hanson, with whom he has a daughter. Speaking to Interfaith Families about the joys of fatherhood, Barinholtz said that when it comes to religion, “one of the best things to do is educate them to the point where they have an understanding of it and can make their own decisions.”

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