Nope Star Keke Palmer Will Host The Next Episode Of Saturday Night Live, With Musical Guest SZA

Of all my reactions to Jordan Peele's mind-bending "Nope," the one I probably felt the strongest was that Keke Palmer needs to be in everything from this point forward. I have no trouble recalling the 2006 buzz circa "Akeelah and the Bee" that Palmer was one of our brightest young actors, and after she landed a starring role on Nickelodeon, it was easy for me to imagine a future where Palmer had ascended to international superstar status.

Maybe Palmer should have signed with Disney Channel — or more plausibly, she just preferred to take her career at her own pace — but she never quite achieved the level of stardom that my younger self would have expected for someone so talented and well known. And while she's continued to work steadily as a performer, voice actor, and music artist, it wasn't until 2019's "Hustlers" that she really began to step back into the spotlight.

This year, Palmer not only brought her kinetic charisma to "Nope" but also lent her voice talents to the big screen with "Lightyear," delivering a solid performance even if in a forgettable film. For the first time since the 2000s, we may be entering the closest thing to a Keke Palmer renaissance, and as is ritual in Hollywood, it's being consummated with a hosting appearance on the next episode of Saturday Night Live, on December 3:

All the stars

Palmer, who released her last album in 2020, will not be doing her own stunts during her turn as SNL host — at least not musically. Instead, after finally endowing us with the single "Shirt" in October and hopefully setting us up for her latest album since 2017's "Ctrl," SZA will be SNL's musical guest for Palmer's episode. We can recklessly speculate that SZA could be leading us into her next album (or possibly debuting another single) with this appearance, and this would be very welcome. Beyond featuring on various other artists' records, including the 2018 "Black Panther" soundtrack, we are due for a full plate of new SZA content.

With Palmer's experience acting in films and TV shows that strike basically every conceivable tone and SZA likely stacked with new music to put out, the pair are sure to make a strong showing during a year of many highs and lows for the sketch show.

Keke Palmer and SZA's episode of "Saturday Night Live" will air on December 3, 2022.