Very few young celebrities these days really possess much beyond being everywhere constantly. None of them are both extremely talented and also have that innate “it” quality. Sure, the stars of Euphoria are beautiful and fashionable and mostly talented, but none are truly special. There is no nepotism kid who has that je ne sais quoi of their forefathers. Natural charisma is harder than ever to come by, and true star power is even more rare. That’s why watching Keke Palmer do anything is like a refreshing gulp of ice-cold water after a long drought. She is the only good celebrity right now.
Luckily for us, Palmer has been promoting both Lightyear and Nope all summer — two of her biggest roles to date — meaning we get to see her appear on every late night show and in every magazine. I have not seen Lightyear because I don’t care about “space,” but Palmer’s turn in Nope is nothing short of a star-making performance. Every scene she’s in belongs to her.
On top of that, Keke Palmer is a walking meme, and not in that forced way, like Dakota Johnson on Ellen — though years ago she once did call out Wendy Williams in a way that nobody else has really done since:
Nobody else currently has the range to make one of these extremely long WIRED “Most Searched Questions” videos bearable for more than 2 minutes. You can’t for one second predict what she will say at any moment, from her opener (“Mama’s getting hot on the net!”) to her now-viral impression of Angela Bassett:
Down the hall at the Condé Nast Digital Celebrity Torture Chambers, watch how she carries this entire Vanity Fair video in the presence of also extremely charismatic and hot men:
She is the only person who I think Jimmy Fallon should have laughed harder at:
She somehow even made being held hostage by Hailey Bieber tolerable? That’s history:
God, there really isn’t anyone else like her right now. Please, Hollywood — do not fumble the Keke Palmer bag. Do not make us endure another cycle of trying to make a mostly boring niece of a CAA executive interesting because she goes on Instagram live sometimes without makeup on. We have Keke Palmer!