‘I’m Such A Happy Chewbacca’: North Texan Behind The Mask Talks About Going Viral | KERA News

‘I’m Such A Happy Chewbacca’: North Texan Behind The Mask Talks About Going Viral

May 23, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A woman in a wookie mask spread laughter to millions on Facebook; Buc-ee’s has arrived in Fort Worth; everybody needs a copy editor, specifically the Texas Republican Party; and more.

Candace Payne went to a Kohl’s outside of Dallas on Thursday. She had to make a few returns, but she ended up buying something on a whim — a plastic Chewbacca mask. Sitting in her car in the parking lot, she made a four-minute Facebook live video about her "Stars Wars"-themed purchase. In the video, she tries on the mask, which makes the familiar wookiee vibrato when she opens her mouth. She finds it so hilarious that she works herself into a tizzy for the next two minutes.

The video, as of Monday morning has received more than 135 million views on Facebook. If you are not one of those, here it is:

Maybe it’s the global love of the film franchise or Payne’s infectious laughter, but either way, she wasn’t anticipating the social media outpour. NPR’s Rachel Martin talked with Payne on Friday afternoon. "Oh my goodness, I'm reeling. I don't know what to do. I'm like, 'Jesus, take the wheel!'" Payne said.


According to their conversation, Payne’s already been approached by people to license and distribute the video. She’s figuring out that side of things, and he’s still a bit baffled by the hype. But over the past few days, she’s received private messages from strangers telling her the video brought them great joy. "I couldn't ask for more. It's just awesome." [NPR]


  • The first ever Buc-ee’s in North Texas opens today in far north Fort Worth. The new location at Texas 114 and Interstate 35W,near Texas Motor Speedway will be the 25th Buc-ee’s travel station in the state. Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “It will have all the usual Buc-ee’s features, including the wide array of jerky, candy and drinks, plus some local twists. For example, blue T-shirts featuring the words “Buc-ee’s Fort Worth, TX” and the famous logo of the buck-toothed, baseball cap-wearing beaver are already on display in the front of the store.” Most of the stores populate south Texas, but another Buc-ee’s will rise later this year in Denton along I-35E near Brinker Road, despite some residents’ disapproval. Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
  • In case you’re craving fair food already, Fletcher’s Original State Fair Corny Dogs will be sold two days in June. The state fair isn’t until September, but the beloved vendor wants to celebrate early as one of several surprises they have lined up for fans, according to WFAA. Fletcher’s will be open from 5-10 p.m. on June 10 and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on June 11. Read more. [WFAA]
  • For the photographer who captured Rougned Odor’s helmet-dismantling punch last Sunday it was all about timing. Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographer Richard Rodriguez had been wishing he was at The Cure concert on Sunday, May 15 — that is, until the eighth inning of the Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers game, he told Newsweek. After some visceral tension and then blatant foul play, a brawl broke out in which Rangers’ second baseman Rougned Odor dealt Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista a cartoon-like punch to the jaw. Read about Rodriguez’s experience in the days after the iconic image. [Newsweek]  

  • The Texas Republican Party has a subject-verb agreement issue in its 2016 platform. Here’s the sentence in question: “Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that has been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nations founders, and shared by the majority of Texans." The use of “has” conveys that homosexual behavior is ordained by God in the Bible rather than “the fundamental unchanging truths.” The verb “have” would clear things up to reflect the party’s probable intent. Also, “nations” needs an apostrophe to be possessive. Read more. [NPR]