There are not many young stars that shine as brightly as Keke Palmer. The young entertainer has had a successful career in movies, television and music and it is still going strong. Rather than hit the glass ceiling that seems to stop child stars from continuing success, the 20-year-old recently became the host of her very own talk show. The show, Just Keke, covers a range of relatable topics, while maintaining a strong connection to her peers. It also allowed her to make history by becoming the youngest talk show host ever. There is great warmth that comes from speaking to her and it is that warmth that makes others feel like as if they are having a casual ‘kiki’ – or a gathering – with a close friend.
Sitting down with another talk show diva, Wendy Williams, Palmer opened up and shared that Just Keke is extremely special to her. Even the setup of the stage relates to the intimate feeling that she hopes to convey. Unlike the majority of stages, where the hosts sit separately from the audience, Palmer chooses to sit among them.
“I didn’t want it to feel like I was talking at my audience, because they’re my peers,” she explained. “This is not Just Keke; it’s really about us all. It’s about having one another [and] a sense of community.”
Surprisingly, the added label of “talk show host” did not sit so well with someone she is quite close to: her mother. “I started talking to my mom about the talk show when I was 16 or 17,” she shared. “She was like, “You know, you can do this at a later age.” [I was like] “No, Mom; the point of me doing it now is because I’m at a young adult age and it’s for my generation. It has to happen now.”
Since premiering on June 30, the show has been a hit with her young fans. Many special guests have turned up to cheer Keke Palmer on, such as Raven-Symoné; a person she looks up to fondly, Brandy Norwood and even her celebrity crush, actor Michael Ealy. It is another notch in an already full schedule for the young woman, but she realizes that dreams have to be chased in order for them to be achieved.
“I try to do everything at once,” she admits. “I always try to fit it all in because there are so many different things I want to do, so I always find a way. If you feel it and you have a dream, go for it.”
On top of her inclusion in so many areas of entertainment, it is surprising that she also manages to have a strong presence on social media. She is notorious for calling out her cyber attackers, instead of just allowing their harsh words to fall by the wayside. There is a strong reason as to why she is unafraid to fight back and it has to do with keeping the name Keke Palmer in the clear.
“I respond to certain messages when I feel like they’re attacking ‘the message’,” she says. “I feel like [others] are trying to attack hope or anything positive by trying to invalidate who I am as a person. I don’t appreciate it.”
Just Keke is on a four-week test trial run; one she recently finished filming. She knows that she is in for a crazy ride, but it seems as if Keke Palmer is ready to stay behind the wheel. She hopes that the show will be picked up for a full season order. “I think we hear about [a pick-up] by the end of this week,” she stated to Williams. “Wish me luck, you guys!”
By Jonathan Brown