It’s been a big week for Keke Palmer, who has been making the rounds on a press tour for Hustlers. She even made her NYFW runway debut, walking at Christian Cowan. But over at Vanity Fair she gave an interview so astounding, so perfect, that—as many Twitter users have proudly stated—it has forced us to stan forever.
Keke Palmer, who once starred on a Nickelodeon sitcom called True Jackson, VP, about a teenager who becomes the vice president of a successful apparel company, has never heard of one of the most infamous American vice presidents of all time. Keke Palmer, who is 26 and was thus alive throughout the entirety of George W. Bush’s two-term presidency, 9/11, and the commencement of the so-called War on Terror, has never heard of Dick Cheney. To repeat: Keke Palmer has never heard of Dick Cheney.
In a video called “Keke Palmer Takes a Lie Detector Test,” Vanity Fair straps Palmer into a polygraph, which she said made her feel like she was “on an episode of the Forensic Files.” An interviewer asks Palmer a series of baseline questions, like if Keke Palmer is her stage name (yes, she was born Lauren Keyana Palmer), how long she’s been acting (since the age of 9), and whether or not she wished she had had a normal high school experience (yes, and she probably would have been on homecoming court). In honor of Palmer’s starring role in Akeelah and the Bee, they even ask her to spell a series of SAT words (she does, quickly and easily).
But at 3 minutes and 13 seconds into the video, something glorious happens. The interviewer mentions Palmer’s sitcom, and raises what seems like a simple question. “Would you say that True Jackson, VP, was a better VP than Dick Cheney?” he asks. Palmer is shown a photo of Dick Cheney, frowning on an airplane.
Palmer looks perplexed. “Who the hell is…” she says, trailing off. “Y’all are really testing me.”
“I hate to say it,” she says with a shrug. “I hope I don’t sound ridiculous, but I don’t know who this man is.”
“I mean he could be walking down the street,” she continued. “I wouldn’t know a thing.”
And then the kicker, a line destined to be memed until the end of time: “Sorry to this man,” Palmer says, the tone of voice implying that she is in fact not very sorry at all. The polygraph operator says that Palmer is telling the truth, and thus Keke Palmer does not know who Dick Cheney is.
It is entirely possible that Palmer, an accomplished actress, does in fact know who Dick Cheney is and was simply delivering masterful shade. But I choose to believe in a world in which Keke Palmer lives in blissful ignorance as to Cheney’s existence, a world where Keke Palmer might scroll through a selection of films on demand, stop at Vice, and think, Hmm, who is this about? Thank you, Keke Palmer.