Ike is the son of actor and producer Alan Barinholtz. The first formal taining he had was in The Latin School of Chicago. He planned to run as a politician starting out as a mayor in Chicago. He found his true calling was in showbiz, however, so he moved to LA, California. As most starting actors are, he started from the bottom, working as a busboy and his first break was a role in the suspense film "Down" where he played Niles Benson, an assistant milligan.
Barinholtz improved his theatrical abilities by attending institutes such as ImprovOlympic, Second City and the Annoyance Theater. Ike Barinholtz officially joined the cast of MADtv in 2002 as a feature performer, for the Eighth season. He was later promoted to a repertory performer status the following season. To date, he is still part of the show.