Surprise! Keke Palmer announces pregnancy and SZA reveals album release date on ‘SNL’

A woman in a brown trench coat showing off her baby bump on a stage
Keke Palmer hosts an episode of “Saturday Night Live.”
(Will Heath / NBC)

Host Keke Palmer and musical guest SZA had some big news to share on this weekend’s episode of “Saturday Night Live.”

During her opening monologue, Palmer dramatically revealed her pregnancy by showing off her baby bump for the first time on live TV. Later in the show, SZA announced the release date for her next album while performing her latest single, “Shirt.”

“I’m especially glad to be here ... because there’s some rumors going around,” Palmer told the studio audience. “People have been in my comments saying, ‘Keke’s having a baby. Keke’s pregnant.’ And I wanna set the record straight: I am.”

On cue, the “Nope” star ripped open her brown trench coat with dramatic flair and cradled her bare baby bump as the crowd erupted in cheers. After soaking in the applause and doing a little happy dance on stage, Palmer couldn’t help but laugh as she struggled to button her coat back up.


“It is bad when people on the internet spread rumors about you, y’all. But it’s even worse when they’re correct!” she continued.

“I was trying so hard to keep it on the down-low, ‘cause I got a lot of stuff going on, you know? People kept coming up to me, ‘Congratulations!’ I’m like, ‘Shh, can y’all stop? I got a liquor sponsorship on the line. Let the check clear! Then we can get to the damn baby shower.’”

Palmer is expecting her first child with her boyfriend of more than a year, Darius Daulton Jackson, who shared an Instagram video of his partner celebrating behind the scenes of “SNL.” In the clip, a “relieved” Palmer says she “can’t wait to eat and lay down and sleep and just be so happy.”

“Honestly, this has been the biggest blessing, and I’m so excited ... I’m going to be a mom!” the “Akeelah and the Bee” breakout said at the top of the show. “Even though some people feel a little weird about me having a baby ‘cause I was a child actor, I just wanna say, look, I’m 29. I’m grown. I have sex. I own a home. I stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. You know — things adults do.”

“I’m kidding,” she continued. “Y’all know I’m the same person I always been, and I’m proud of that. Matter of fact — when I first got into comedy, and dreamed of standing on this stage, I asked myself, ‘Keke, who will you be?’ ... And now that I’m here, I can tell you exactly who I am. Baby, I’m Keke Palmer.”


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During her first performance of the night, SZA made a pretty major announcement of her own: Her highly anticipated sophomore album, “S.O.S.,” is scheduled to arrive Friday — five years after the release of her hit debut record, “Ctrl.” At the end of the song, the due date for the “I Hate U” hitmaker’s next project appeared in giant letters on the screen behind her.

Other highlights from this week’s installment of “SNL” included a nostalgic cameo from cast member Kenan Thompson‘s former “Kenan & Kel” co-star, Kel Mitchell, as well as a particularly meta sketch starring Palmer as a pregnant woman getting an ultrasound.

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For a forthcoming episode of the “Envelope” podcast, Palmer recently spoke with the Los Angeles Times about her early work on “Akeelah and the Bee,” Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, as well as her plans for the next chapter of her career.

“What I want my future to be is that I’m somebody that people can look to in terms of knowing how to market, how to build a brand, how to establish IP, how to create characters, how to tell stories, how to build marketing stories as well as narrative stories and just be able to be a real, genuine creative force on a cerebral level, not just a performer,” Palmer told The Times.

“What these earlier stages of my career and where I am now has really all been about, is establishing my brand and my ability to navigate the industry and create a sustainable career for myself.”

Times staff writer Yvonne Villarreal contributed to this report.