Woman's Chewbacca laughter captures internet's heart - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woman's Chewbacca laughter captures internet's heart

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Candace Payne never thought a simple post to Facebook would reach over 81 million views in a matter of hours.

Payne, now known to social media world as "Chewbacca Lady," has a laugh that is infectious.

On Thursday, she was at a Kohl's getting yoga pants and while there, picked up an impulse buy -- a Star Wars Chewbacca mask.

"I even had it with me for a couple hours, and it was just calling my name from the bag," Payne said.

Payne took the mask out of its packaging and put it on while sitting in her car. It was a moment that she wanted to document, so she whipped out her cell phone camera.

"Every time I would start moving, Chewbacca would just get happier and happier, and I couldn't take it," Payne said.

Payne would find pure joy in what stared back at her. Her giddy, uncontrollable laughter has connected with people around the world.

She shot the video on Thursday, and by Friday, it went viral to the tune of 81 million views.

Friday evening, representatives with Kohl's were on her front lawn. They brought several boxes of Star Wars toys for her two kids to show their appreciation for the video.

Why does she think the video took off so quickly?

"To just get a good laugh," Payne said. "I think people were with me, going 'I needed that, I needed that.'"

She says she's received countless messages from family and friends.

"I was in my kitchen, face down on the floor for an hour-and-a-half, just thanking God for letting me share this joy with everybody," Payne said.

She tells News 8 she's heard from people who are grieving, thanking her for sharing the video. She even heard from an appreciative mother who has an autistic daughter who hasn't laughed in a long while, until she saw Payne and her silly impulse buy on social media.

As Payne says at the end of the video, "It's the simple joys."

WXIA contributed to this story. 

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