Chewbacca Mom is an internet viral video featuring 37-year-old Texas mother Candace Payne filming herself heartily laughing while wearing a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. The video was posted to Facebook with the description “It’s the simple joys in life….” on May 19, 2016. The video became so popular that Forbes reported that the mask sold out from every online retailer.
In response to the video, Kohl’s, where the mask was purchased, rewarded Payne with about $2,500 in gift cards, Star Wars toys and 10,000 reward points. On May 23, 2016, Holly and Phillip wore the masks on This Morning. On the same day, Payne was featured on Good Morning America. On the show, Hasbro rewarded her with more Star Wars toys.
Later that day, The Gregory Brothers uploaded an auto tuned remix of the video. Payne was later featured on the “The Late Show” with James Corden and J.J. Abrams.
On May 24, 2016, she was invited by Mark Zuckerberg to visit the Facebook Headquarters. She was also featured on “The Star Wars Show” on the Star Wars official YouTube channel on May 25, 2016. Additionally, Payne received an additional $7,500 for a Memorial Day weekend in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, $2,000 to attend the Fan Dallas Expo with Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew, and $400,000 in scholarship money from Southeastern University, totaling her gift value to more than $420,000 as of June 7, 2016.
As of May 24, 2016, the video has gathered over 140 million views on Facebook and is the most viewed Facebook Live video of all time. The video also has over three million reshares.