131 Million People Have Been Charmed By This Happy Star Wars Fan

By Published on May 22, 2016

A woman’s joy in the simple things of life has broken a Facebook record — and provided an unintentional reward for her family.

On Thursday, Candace Payne posted a video of herself excitedly putting on a mask of the Star Wars character Chewbacca. As of this writing, the video holds Facebook Live’s record for views at more than 131 million.

It’s not just views that Payne is getting. Her use of the Kohl’s mask garnered her and her family a mask for everyone, Star Wars toys, 10,000 store points and $2,500 from the store for the free publicity.

And the video appears to be helping others appreciate the little things in their own lives. The Washington Post’s Facebook page has comments like Alanya Kolberg’s, which said that “If we could all find such complete, unabashed happiness in such small things, we’d all be better off.”

Felicia Grant-Hopkins likewise posted that she “had a rough week,” but “Watching this made my day and pulled me out of a slight depression… I watched it over and over again until I was able to laugh right along with her… This was a God send for me… God bless you Happy Chewbacca!!! Lol”

And an associate editor for Slate wrote:

So why have tens of millions of people watched a video Payne made for her “friends on the Internet webs”? Because Payne is charming. She’s self-deprecating about her weight, her trouble pronouncing the word confiscate, and the fact that people in the parking lot are staring at her. She makes no bones about the fact that she bought the mask for herself, not for her kids. And she has a great, genuine laugh, which goes on for at least a full minute as the mask, designed to make noise when the mouth moves, faintly emits Chewbacca roars. Payne’s joy is infectious. It is impossible to watch the video without smiling, even if you’re simultaneously wondering, “Why am I watching this?”

As one of my colleagues put it, in an attempt to explain the appeal of the video, “She’s so happy, whereas everyone else on the Internet is complaining about something …. As Payne wrote in her description of the video on Facebook, “It’s the simple joys in life.” For Payne, the simple joy came in the form of a Chewbacca mask. For us, it comes in the form of a rare viral video that isn’t a cynical play for views and that’s funny at no one’s expense.

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