Childhood & Early Life
Esther was born Esther Lauren Povitsky, on March 2, 1988, in Skokie, Illinois. She is of Jewish ethnicity. In 2006, Esther graduated from 'Niles North High School' in Skokie. She then attended the 'University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign’ and later moved to Los Angeles, where she pursued stand-up comedy and acting full-time.
After gaining stand-up comedy skills by working with “improv” institutions/groups such as 'iO Chicago,' 'The Second City,' and 'The Groundlings,' Esther began performing live at various venues throughout Los Angeles. She has presented acts at many comedy clubs, such as 'The Comedy Store,' 'The Improv,' and 'The Ice House.'
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Esther made her acting debut with an uncredited role of a teen model in the 2008 sports film 'The Express.' Since 2010, her career took off and she began receiving big projects. Esther appeared as ‘Val Monroe’ in the 2010 short 'April.' Following this, her podcast spree began. She began with 'The Adam Carolla Show' and soon became the first female guest of 'The Joe Rogan Experience.' Esther also appeared in the podcast 'Poor Choices Show' in 2011.
Esther’s podcasting credits also include 'DEATHSQUAD' (regular). She hosted 'Little Esther's Piecast,' 'Weird Adults with Little Esther,' 'Glowing Up with Esther and Caroline,’ and ‘Brode & Esther' (along with comedian Brody Stevens). Esther also often makes guest appearances on 'DEATHSQUAD’s 'Ice House Chronicles.'
After appearing in two 2011 shorts, namely, 'All in All' and 'The Eater,' Esther returned to TV, featuring in sitcoms and sketch comedies such as 'NBC’s 'New Girl' (as ‘Krystal’) in 2011 and 'Parks and Recreation' (as ‘Julie’). She also appeared in 'Comedy Central’s 'Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!' in 2013 and 'Key and Peele' (as ‘Cassie’) in 2014. She was also seen in the web series 'Daddy Knows Best' (2012), 'Talking Marriage with Ryan Bailey' (2014), and 'Esther with Hot Chicks' (2014). In 2012, Esther was offered an 'MTV' reality show, which was supposed to be based on her life as a comedian. She, however, declined the offer, as she thought the idea was too offensive.
Esther has also been associated with various talk shows, such as 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson' (two episodes, 2013 and 2015) and 'Last Call with Carson Daly' (2013). In 2015, Esther starred in the short film ‘Alone Together,’ which caught the attention of the comedy trio 'The Lonely Island.'
Esther wrote and produced the short with Benji Aflalo, who later became her partner in the TV-series version of the short. They two got to know each other while working at the club 'The Comedy Store.' The pilot for the series was proposed in April 2016 and was finalized in July. Produced by 'The Lonely Island’s pay TV channel, 'Freeform,' the pilot was finalized as part of a series in December that year.
In October 2017, 'Alone Together' was renewed for its second season. Esther and Benji portrayed the lead characters with their real-life names. The two projected a platonic relationship between a male and a female, contradicting the common phenomenon that a girl and a boy can never be “just friends.” The real-life and reel-life best friends developed the characters inspired by their own life experiences. On the show, Esther and Benji found solace in each other’s company while struggling with their failing career options and relationships.
The show, unfortunately, failed to garner positive reviews. After two seasons, 'Alone Together' was canceled on November 2, 2018. While working on the show, Esther took up several other TV projects. In 2015, she made guest appearances in the dark comedy web TV series 'Difficult People' (as ‘Cissy Donato’) and the 'VH1' scripted comedy faux-reality show 'Candidly Nicole.'
Esther then began hosting the sex-talk show 'Cocktales with Little Esther,' aired on 'Comedy Central Originals.' After featuring in comedy series such as 'Workaholics,' 'Lady Dynamite,' 'The Amazing Gayl Pile,' 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' and 'Love,' Esther appeared in the romantic musical comedy-drama series 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' aired on 'The CW.' She has been playing the recurring character ‘Maya’ on the show since 2016. The last season of the show, to date, ended in April 2019.
Some of Esther’s recent credits include the 'NBC' talk show 'Late Night with Seth Meyers' and 'Harry,' both of which aired in 2018, and the TV movie 'The Story of Our Times.' She also appeared as ‘Alicia’ in the 2018 comedy film 'Dude' and played ‘Kayla’ in a 2019 episode of the 'Hulu' web comedy series 'Shrill.'
Family & Personal Life
Esther has never been open about her personal life. She is mostly known for her on-screen chemistry with Benji, who is her best friend in real life, too. After getting acquainted with each other at 'The Comedy Store,' they met again at the grocery store 'Whole Foods.' Benji asked Esther to come over and discuss their upcoming projects. Since then, the two have been inseparable.
Esther once revealed she had dated a comedy writer. In high school, she had a boyfriend whose identity was never disclosed to the media. Furthermore, some of Esther’s social-media posts suggest that in 2010, she and her boyfriend auditioned for the same TV commercial. The two broke up later.
In addition to acting and comedy, Esther is good at sports, too. She plays basketball and is trained in aerobics, roller skating, boxing, cheerleading, gymnastics, and rollerblading. She has also been trained in a few dance styles, such as ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, freestyle, disco, hip-hop, and pointe.
For her stage productions, Esther has had to learn a few combat skills, such as daggers, sword, hand-to-hand, rapier, and staff. She also took up music lessons for musicals and learned pop music. Esther is comfortable with various vocal ranges, such as alto, mezzo-soprano, and soprano.
Esther can speak Spanish and is fluent in the dialects of Ireland, Brooklyn, Wisconsin, and the South.