What ‘Chewbacca Mask Lady’ Can Teach Us About Humor

Screenshot from Candace Payne’s video

One lady, one Chewbacca talking mask from Kohl’s, and four minutes that lit up the Internet for days. By now, you’ve likely seen Candace Payne, aka the Chewbacca Mask Lady, in her joyful Facebook video. As of Sunday morning, it’s been watched more than 120 million times. Why has this simple video of a Texas mom’s fangirl glee captured the attention of the world? And what lessons can humorists take away from it?

  1. The premise is simple. Candace buys herself a birthday present, and is so excited over it, she tries it on in the car. Her reaction to wearing it and seeing herself as she streams it on her phone via Facebook is the true gold here. Coming up with a simple premise that avoids low-hanging fruit of most comedy is difficult, but not impossible. Being original always wins.
  2. She laughs at herself. There’s no mocking of anyone else in this video; it’s self-deprecating humor. Laughing at yourself is the best type of humor, because it’s honest and it doesn’t come at the expense of anyone else.
  3. There are no sides. This video appeals to everyone because it isn’t about politics, religion or personal beliefs. There are no sides to point and laugh at, unlike most humor you see on Facebook these days. It’s about ‘Star Wars,’ a legendary and beloved franchise that’s grown beyond geek culture into something globally recognized. Even if you don’t speak English, you can watch the bulk of this video and get the humor. Looking through the comments on this video, many people say they’re not “into Star Wars” but they still love it because of her infectious, pure joy.
  4. She’s doing this for herself. It wasn’t meant to entertain anyone, other than a few friends on Facebook. Making yourself laugh is the first step not only toward honest reactions but also a great way to spark spontaneity and take your humor to the next level.

Now go out there and find your own inner happy Chewbacca. Or click the link below if you’re the only person who hasn’t seen the video yet.


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