If you haven’t been paying attention, “Chewbacca Mom” is all the rage these days. In just under a day, a 37-year-old mother of two named Candace Payne became an internet sensation, breaking Facebook Live records and causing Chewbacca masks to sell out.
All she did was buy a Chewbacca mask, put it on, and record herself on Facebook Live, all the while bursting into gales of infectious laughter. Within 24 hours of putting it on the social media site, the Facebook Live video garnered 50 million views. That number increased to 135 million in three days. As of this writing, that number continues to rise.
For those who still haven’t watched the live video, you’re in for a treat.
“You want to see what I got? It’s so great!” Payne said. “This is part of my birthday joy. Still rejoicing in my birthday.”
While going through one of her laughing fits, Candace reminded her audience that the Chewbacca mask was not for her kids, but for herself.
“Stay patient people, stay patient,” she said.
After she put the Chewbacca mask on, Payne burst into laughter, screaming, “I’m such a happy Chewbacca! This is worth every penny!”
Chewbacca Mom’s video became such a hit that the Chewbacca mask sold out everywhere. Kohl, the toy store she bought the Chewbacca mask from, showed their appreciation for the sales boost by sending her family store gift cards worth $25,000, 10,000 reward points, and a slew of Star Wars toys.
On Monday, five days after her Facebook video went viral, Payne gets to shine again as she appeared alongside James Corden and Star Wars director J.J. Abrams on The Late Late Show.
For this week’s episode, the show’s producers decided to replace Carpool Karaoke with a sketch featuring “Chewbacca Mom” wherein she gets to drive James Corden to work. And surprise, surprise! Star Wars director J.J. Abrams appears on the sketch as well.
“I know you are pleased with your purchase, I just have to get to work!” James Corden said.
“It’s not me that’s making the noise, it’s the mask! I’m such a happy Chewbacca!” Candace replied, once again bursting into laughter.
J.J. Abrams suddenly appeared in the backseat and proceeded to demonstrate to Corden how to make a proper Chewbacca noise.
At the end, James was convinced to put on a Chewbacca mask as well, which, of course, caused the three of them to burst into peals of laughter.
Before long, Candace sat down for an interview with James Corden on The Late Late Show in which she recounted her experience upon finding out that her Facebook Live video went viral. She also explained why she posted the Facebook video: to prove to her friends that the Chewbacca mask was hers, not her children’s.
It only got better for Candace when Corden read her a letter from the real Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew.
“Candace, you are an inspiration. Your attitude and lovely message really resonates and spreading the message the good word of Star Wars with a heart, well, it’s so much of why we do what we do.
“I’d love to get to meet you and your family in person. In two weeks we have Dallas Fan Expo in your own hometown and my hometown. I have acquired four VIP passes for you and your family to come with the show. I’ve also set up a private meet and greet so we can catch up whilst you are there. All my love, Peter.”
— Seán Mac an tSíthigh (@Buailtin) May 24, 2016
It looks like we’ll be seeing more of Candace Payne for the meantime, as she also appeared on Good Morning America on Monday in New York City, as reported by Just Jared.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 23, 2016
[Photo by The Late Late Show with James Corden/Getty Images]