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Progressive Insurance's Wacky "Flo"


The actress that plays the wacky "Flo" in those popular Progressive Insurance ads is actually 39 year old stand-up comic and lead Groundlings comedy troupe actress Stephanie Courtney. Courtney might just be the best comic actress that is not part of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE at this time. Amazingly, her "Flo" character is so popular that all of her ads are posted over at YouTube and so many comments prove her strong cult following among a sizable number of fans.

stephanie courtney.bmp

Part of the "Flo" persona is the cartoonish, larger than life, overly enthusiastic personality and the wildly overdone rockabilly makeup and unique hairstyle that Courtney claims takes up to two hours of makeup work to do. Courtney's skills as an actress really carry the role as a unique personality that some even liken to a post-modern version of "Josephine The Plumber".

Strangely, while a half-cracked personality like a real "Flo" might not be good for business at a real insurance agency where buyers want complete seriousness, the wacky "Flo" advertising character has struck real gold for Progressive and meant strong sales and new buyers. "Flo" has proven to be one of the greatest game changers ever for Progressive really setting itself aside from other insurance companies, and spurring real interest in the brand.

However, with all the popularity, some goofy rumors will flourish on the Internet, including some claims by some that "Flo" is pregnant, or of all crazy things, that a sex tape even exists. With the huge popularity of "Flo", some fans of the actress sometimes invent some silly rumors.

Courtney has also had quite a number of TV show and movie appearances as well. She might just be one of the most talented performers ever who is not a household name. But a great stand-up comedy routine of Courtney can be found circulating on YouTube and elsewhere called the "99 Cent Store".

Many years ago, MAD magazine had a parody of TV GUIDE where commercials became more popular than TV shows, with the Dash detergent man on the front cover. Well, "Flo" is nearly that popular, and perhaps better loved than a few TV shows right now.

Sorry fellows. While more than a few of you might just think that "Flo" is a real babe, that won't help you because Courtney is happily married to a fellow worker at the Groundlings theatre, so you're plum out of luck.

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Comments (7)

You know, her make up on th... (Below threshold)

You know, her make up on that commercial always reminded me of a Joker victim in the first Batman. She looks much better in the second photo.

Power to the people!<... (Below threshold)

Power to the people!

(my 2 year old nephew loves when she says that line, he makes us rewind it over and over)

Hello LaMadusa and Paul. Fl... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Hello LaMadusa and Paul. Flo is indeed a very popular sales mascot for Progressive. Her unique character has hit a real chord and stride with viewers for sure.

Unfortunately for the insur... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Unfortunately for the insurance company many of us conservatives are a hard sell for anything named Progressive :-)

Damn! She's married. And he... (Below threshold)
Charlie the Bartender:

Damn! She's married. And here I thought I was the only one totally ga-ga for her. Certifiably head-over-heels, my-regulars-know-not-to-order-drinks-when-there's-a-Progressive-Flo-advert kinda ga-ga. And another expat-New Yorker! Two hours in makeup? I knew a woman who I swore spent so much time dolling up....

I wish They made a -FLO DOL... (Below threshold)

I wish They made a -FLO DOLL =.Like the HILREY DOLL. THANK CLS TN.Your second picture look good.

Seems I read somewhere that... (Below threshold)
Lisa W.:

Seems I read somewhere that Stephanie Courtney plays a role on "Mad Men" -- as one of the phone operators. Can anyone confirm this?

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