Laughter is the best medicine! Candace Payne, the Dallas-area mom who went viral for her hysterical laughter while trying on a Chewbacca mask from Kohl’s, dished on just how she ended up with the Star Wars toy during an interview on Good Morning America on Monday, May 23.
“I honestly wasn’t there for the mask,” she told the morning talk show. “I was there for myself for some yoga pants because I’m trying to work out more. And it’s not really going that well, but I ended up going to the toy section because I got discouraged about the yoga pants and I thought, ‘Maybe not today. But I can get a toy for my kids.’”
The Star Wars superfan explained that as she walked through the toy section, her shoulder bumped into a box — which just so happened to be the hilarious but somewhat creepy, purring Chewbacca mask. “I had seen this before, but I didn’t realize it made sound until that moment,” she said. “It accidentally started making the growl, and I went, ‘I need to get that. Like, I don’t think my kids need that, I think I need that.’”
After she left Kohl’s, she said her new purchase “was just calling from the bag” for her to try it on. “I was thinking, ‘I’ve got 30 minutes before I have to be responsible and pick up my children from school and once they see this I’ll never get to see it again,’” she recalled. “So I thought, I’m going to share this with my Facebook friends and family, and if anybody wants to see it, they’re going to have to see it now.”
The record-breaking video is now the most-watched Facebook Live video ever, with more than 136 million views since it was posted on Thursday, May 19. “I feel like I deserve a gold medal, just to say that I actually have broken a record that deserves maybe a podium and a whole song and maybe some flowers,” she joked of her viral stardom.
The mom of two then got serious when asked why she thinks the clip resonated with viewers. “In all honesty, I think the world as a whole is in need of a good laugh. I think we’re in need of somebody to lift our spirits, to not take ourselves so seriously, and to maybe break some cynicism worldwide. It just needs to stop, and somebody needs to have a good belly laugh with somebody, and it happened to be me that day,” she said.
Since Payne took to Facebook to share the joy of her birthday present (to herself!), the family has been gifted with tons of toys! Representatives from Kohl’s surprised them at their home on Friday, May 20, with Chewbacca masks for the kids, plus much more, after the clip caused the mask to sell out online. Hasbro, the manufacturer of the mask, also gifted the Texas mom with a giant basket of figurines and Star Wars merchandise during her GMA appearance.
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