Meet Your New Wookiee Queen Of Viral Video: 'Chewbacca Mom'
By NPR Staff
On Thursday, Candace Payne livestreamed a video on Facebook. It was simple, short — a one-cut number that showed her trying out a toy she’d just bought from a local department store. Pretty standard, right?
Well, by Saturday that little video had been viewed more than 105 million times … and counting. It has already beaten Buzzfeed for the most-watched Facebook Live video of all time.
If you somehow haven’t seen it yet yourself, go ahead now. We’ll wait.
The Star Wars fan had just bought the talking wookiee mask — as in, Chewbacca — on store credit after making a few returns. Of course, it takes a little while to even make out the fact that the mask talks, because Payne could not hold it together. Frankly, much of the video is simply Payne laughing hysterically at what she clearly thinks is the funniest thing she has ever seen.
And by the end, it’s difficult to disagree. NPR’s Rachel Martin said she was “literally weeping, she was laughing so hard” herself when she watched the video.
So, Martin decided to catch up with Payne, calling her at her home outside Dallas on Friday afternoon.
“I didn’t expect to laugh that hard,” Payne told her. “But I was looking at the phone videotaping it. I didn’t think that Chewbacca would look so happy!”
Here she is, in full Chewbacca glory, laughing to the point of full-on weeping. Facebook hide caption
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And she didn’t expect the prodigious response to her video, either.
“Oh my goodness, I’m reeling. I don’t know what to do. I’m like, ‘Jesus, take the wheel!’ ” she says. She says she’s already gotten messages from people hoping to license the video and manage its distribution, aiming to drum up revenue from it. “That’s kind of where I’m negotiating that right now.”
Still, she hasn’t escaped the sense that all of this hubbub is, well, just a little bit crazy. “I’m like, y’all, come on.”
That said, she says something serious and lovely has come of her funny little video.
“I’ve had some people — they’ve sent me private messages, and they’ll just say stuff like, ‘Man, I’ve been battling depression. So-and-so passed away, and I hadn’t laughed since they died and this video made me laugh again,’ ” she says.
“I couldn’t ask for more. It’s just awesome.”