Last week, the Internet shared a collective belly laugh as we watched a delighted mom don a Chewbacca mask in the parking lot of a Kohls store. Together, we fell in love. And together, we hit “refresh” until our bellies literally hurt.
Five days and 141 million views later, the Arkansas mom of two behind the clip, Candace Payne (known forever more as “Chewbacca Mom”), is officially living her best life.
On Monday night, The Late Late Show with James Corden invited Payne to “drive” Corden to work as a fun spin on his popular Carpool Karaoke sketch series, wherein he asks celebrities to drive him to work while they sing along to their biggest hits. In last night’s clip, Corden and Payne recreate her original video and debate whether or not the Chewbacca mask sounds like the actual wookiee himself.
But that’s when Star Wars director J.J. Abrams himself pops up out of nowhere to weigh in — and much hilarity ensues.
As if that wasn’t funny enough, in Corden’s sit-down interview with Payne, they showed a clip of the moment J.J. Abrams met Payne for the first time. Let’s just say, her reaction is simply priceless. And as if THAT weren’t enough, Corden pulls out all the stops to read Payne a letter from Chewbacca himself, Peter Mayhew:
It’s been a banner week for Payne, to say the least. First, to thank her for causing the Chewbacca mask to fly off their shelves (seriously, it’s now sold out), reps from Kohls showed up at Payne’s house Saturday, and gifted her and her kids with more Star Wars goodies than she probably even knows what to do with.
Then on Monday, Payne sat down with Good Morning America in a one-on-one interview with Robin Roberts to discuss why exactly she thinks her video went so viral, so fast:
“I think the world, as a whole, is in need of a good laugh,” Payne told Robin Roberts. “I think we are 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.”
And that’s exactly it. Some days, you just need a laugh — and if there’s anything this video proved, it’s that people still find joy through the happiness of others. And that’s a beautiful thing.