Boise & Garden City

‘Chewbacca Mom’ headlines Boise conference

It was hard to look away — and almost impossible not to laugh.

Candace Payne, a Texas mom and huge Star Wars fan, struck social media gold in May 2016, when she live streamed a video of herself trying on a Chewbacca mask.

The video has had more than 175 million views, and Payne embraced her new moniker, ‘Chewbacca Mom.”

She has since become a media darling and an entry on Wikipedia. She has written a book called “Laugh It Up!,” is traveling the United States on the speakers circuit, and scheduled to give the keynote speech at the Smart Money, Smart Women Conference at the Boise Centre on Friday, Feb. 16.

Laugh It Up! tells the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask,” her website says. “Like most of us, Candace has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant. But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakable joy that no circumstance can take away, and Laugh It Up! will help you discover and experience the same.”

Did you know Hasbro made a Chewbacca Mom action figure?

It features more than a dozen catchphrases, including, “That’s not me making that noise, it’s the mask,” “I am such a happy Chewbacca,” and Payne’s inimitable laugh, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Can’t make the Boise conference? You can follow Payne on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller