We were introduced to the adorable Esther Karp (aka, Essie) back in Season 5 of The Goldbergs. In the episode, "The Goldberg Girls," Beverly is on a mission to form a group of friends. She calls it the The Yentas but later it's changed to The Frentas. Essie becomes one of Beverly's closest friends, and she's also super close with Linda and Virginia. While Essie isn't a huge character (she's been in 17 episodes of The Goldbergs) she's definitely a memorable one. And a recognizable one.
Where exactly have you seen Essie before? Every time Essie appears on the screen, fans quickly google if Essie is actually Flo from the Progressive commercials.
Is Flo from Progressive on 'The Goldbergs'?
Yup, that is indeed Flo (Stephanie Courtney) from Progressive on The Goldbergs. 51-year-old Stephanie has been the face of Progressive Insurance since 2008, and is considered one of the most iconic actors in advertising. But Stephanie is so much more than just Flo from Progressive. Courtney started her career performing comedic improv with the famous sketch comedy group, The Groundlings, in Los Angeles,
Before Progressive, Stephanie was cast in an episode of ER, and played switchboard operator Marge (along with Kristen Schaal) on Mad Men. Once she landed her gig with Progressive, Stephanie continued to appear in countless TV shows like House, 2 Broke Girls, and You're the Worst.
Stephanie tells Lohud how her career got started (her first role ever was an unnamed waitress on Mr. Show With Bob and David), sharing, "I went in for an audition eight years ago for a 'big box store' employee. And I put on my polo shirt and put my hair in a ponytail and showed up." Turns out, she was ideal for the waitress role.
She also shares that her improv experience has contributed to her success with Flo's character. "The writers are very open to what I think; there may be some improv here now and then, that is encouraged, by the way. All of us were working so hard to find out who this person was and what the boundaries were. With Flo, she was sort of originally this perfect little Number One employee, but the power has gotten to her," she says.
Why do we love Flo so much? Stephanie thinks it has everything to do with how relatable she is. "Everyone sees something different in Flo. In a lot of advertising, you’re sold perfection and that’s pleasing but ultimately, not realistic. Flo is not perfect, her hair and makeup, things have slipped through the cracks; that's something to watch," Stephanie notes.
Stephanie has no idea how long she'll keep playing Flo, joking, "I don’t know, how much plastic surgery would it take? I could be propped up on a gurney or something. Who knows?"
We don't know a lot about Stephanie's personal life, as she seems like a really private person. She also doesn't have (accessible or active) social media accounts.
Watch new episodes of The Goldbergs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.