NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Late Night

Angela Bassett Reacts to Keke Palmer's Tonight Show Impression of Her: "That's My Baby"

The Password Host "requested me to be her mom in Akeelah and the Bee," Bassett told Jimmy Fallon. 

By Christopher Rudolph

It's well established that Keke Palmer can do everything, from starring in Broadway shows and critically-acclaimed blockbusters like Nope to hosting game shows (Palmer nabbed an Emmy for her work on Password). The comedically-gifted actress and December 3, 2022 SNL Host is also known for her spot-on impressions of superstars like Cher, Shakira, and Angela Bassett.

How to Watch

Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC weeknights at 11:35/10:35c and next day on Peacock

The two first met co-starring in 2006's Akeelah and the Bee, in which Bassett played 11-year-old Palmer's mother. The two have reconnected in the years since, most notably because of Palmer's famous impression of the What's Love Got to Do with It legend.

When Bassett was a March 13 guest on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Fallon wanted to get Bassett's reaction to a specific Angela Bassett impression that Palmer did when she was a guest on The Tonight Show back in November 2021.

With a camera on Bassett's reaction as they rolled the clip, she watched Palmer whip out her best Bassett. The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star gave her full approval and cheered, "That's my baby!"

RELATED: Password Season 2 Goes "Off the Rails" with Joe Manganiello

"She requested me to be her mom in Akeelah and the Bee," Bassett added—another testament to Palmer's sincere lifelong fandom. 

In Netflix's Damsel, Bassett plays Millie Bobby Brown's stepmother, Lady Bayford. Like Palmer, "Millie requested me as well to play her mother, her stepmom, in this big, over-the-top Game of Thrones sort-of fantasy action movie," Bassett told Fallon. "She doesn't need anyone to save her day; she saves her own day."

For some lucky actresses, Bassett truly is mother.

A split of Angela Bassett and Keke Palmer

Angela Bassett reacts to Keke Palmer's impression on The Tonight Show 

This wasn't the first time Bassett had seen Palmer's impression of her portrayal of Katherine Jackson in 1992's The Jacksons: An American Dream miniseries, though. The two reunited in December 2022 for a Vanity Fair video, and during their conversation Bassett asked Palmer to do it in person.

RELATED: Millie Bobby Brown's Underwater Proposal Almost Went Horribly Wrong

"I've seen you online imitating me. You do a great job," the recent Honorary Oscar winner told Palmer.

"Thank you. It's one of my most notable impressions," said the Password host.

"And that line was improvised!" Bassett revealed in the Vanity Fair interview.

In the same clip, Bassett pointed out that people say the two look alike. 

"I live for it!” Palmer said. “I’m so thankful because you’re so gorgeous. It makes my life that people say that!”

Watch Keke Palmer showcase her impressions of Cher and Shakira in that same Tonight Show interview below—and watch Palmer host Season 2 of Password Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC, streaming next day on Peacock.

Keke Palmer Shows Off Her Angela Bassett, Shakira and Cher Impersonations