Thursday, July 09, 2009

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.


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 including some claims by some that "Flo" is pregnant, or of all crazy things, 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 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. But Courtney is happily married to a fellow worker at the Groundlings theatre so you're plum out of luck.

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