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Scoop: Chewbacca mom’s fortune may have a down side

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Observers says Chewbacca mom Candace Payne may face financial consequences as a result of gifts she received in the wake of her history-making viral video. (Courtesy Facebook)

Even Forbes is weighing in on the famed Chewbacca’s mom’s good fortune. Or is it?

Forbes staffer Kelly Phillips Erb posits that affable and adorable Candace Payne, the Grand Prairie, Texas, woman whose viral video of herself laughing in a Chewbacca mask elicited gifts to the tune of nearly half a million dollars, may have to pony up to the IRS.

Payne, whose Facebook Live video has 150 million views, amusingly has been enjoying her moment in the spotlight, appearing on TV with Ellen DeGeneres and James Corden (where she also met J.J. Abrams), meeting original Chewbacca Peter Mayhew, and visiting Facebook headquarters.

She also received $3,000 in gifts from Kohl’s (where she purchased the mask), $7,500 in travel and talk show visits, and $9,000 for vacation-related goodies.

Southeastern University, a Christian college in Florida, offered free tuition at an estimated cost of $400,000. {The school’s website says “Payne has also taken the opportunity to share her Christian faith and her desire that the attention and fame she is receiving will be used to share God’s love with others.”)

But she may have to share her “gifts” with the tax man. Erb points out that when Oprah Winfrey gave away cars to her studio audience in 2004, she referred to them as prizes, not gifts; they were part of a promotion with Pontiac, resulting in “hefty” tax bills to winners of the “free” cars.

Speaking of big giveaways, E Online reports that John Oliver on Sunday was responsible for the largest one-time giveaway in TV history, when he forgave nearly $15 million in medical debt to thousands of Americans — topping Oprah’s estimated $7 million.

Oliver tweeted: “Here’s our piece on the debt buying industry from last night. Your move, Oprah.”


Notable among local Emmy Awards presented Saturday at SF JAZZ Center was Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s winner for an arts segment called ““Baseballet” featuring Smuin Ballet dancers Weston Krukow, Ben Needham-Wood, and Weston’s dad, Giants announcer and former pitcher Mike Krukow; the gorgeous short was produced and photographed by
Devon Fox, Sean Maddison and Michael Phillips.


Meryl Streep portrayed Donald Trump and Christine Baranski played Hillary Clinton Monday at the Shakespeare in the Park Public Theater Gala in New York. … A 12-year-old girl vomited on Paula Abdul after her audition on “So You Think You Can Dance.” …. A free installation at Cibo offices at 649 Front St. in The City invites visitors to play with sea mosnters (and learn about motion control capabilities.)


Fiddler Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek is 35. … Guitarist Derek Trucks is 37. … TV host Maria Menounos is 38. … Rapper Kanye West is 39. … Actress Julianna Margulies is 49. … Actor-director Keenan Ivory Wayans is 58. … “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams is 59. … Singer Bonnie Tyler is 65. … Country guitarist Tony Rice is 65. … Actress Sonia Braga is 66. … Novelist Sara Paretsky is 69. … Singer Nancy Sinatra is 76. … Comedian Jerry Stiller is 89. … Former First Lady Barbara Bush is 91.

— Staff, wire reports

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  • OneBraveDoge

    I just liked the video

    No more please.

  • OneBraveDoge

    Where are all the Satanic Universities ?

    Seems Christians say ‘Hey – I’m SAVED – doesn’t matter WHAT I do – Jesus Christ died for my sins’

    I hear the same rant from Crowley followers “The only rule of law is do as thou wilt”

    SAME difference.

    HEY – I am NOT the one who brought religion into this.

    Last I checked the Republican party brought religion in – and it cost them

    I was QUITE content with JUST the video.

    I will watch it on occasion to feel happy and remember how simply joy can be.

    I am NOT a fan religion has been dragged into the ring.

    DAMN – NSA – you have to speed up this man in the middle stuff.

    LAG on typing is a dead giveaway.

  • OneBraveDoge

    Ask yourself who you are….

    Name ? nope – inherited

    Gene ? nope – inherited

    Language ? nope – inherited

    END OF DAY? ALL one is – is that process of choosing what to think next.

    Religion DENIES you that choice.

    You are following a ZOO manual.


    Don’t trade ‘personal salvation’ in exchange for celebrating the CORE essence of being alive.

  • OneBraveDoge

    I DO like Cornel West when he says – Dogma is the OPPOSITE of uncertainty.

    No doubt people who are insecure are attracted to Dogma.

    Either way- I’d STILL rather have Candace as President

    HOWEVER CLOSE she may teeter this nation towards a theocracy

    But she hasn’t promoted her theological foundation – so I credit her on that.

    I think it’s that University that’s using her.

    I wish STANFORD would give her family a scholarship – or Harvard

    Not some hair brained theological intrusion into academia and science.

    What kind of chemistry classes will there be at this Christian University ?

    or Anthropology ?

    Dinosaurs existed 10,000 years ago – mm hmm


    BE that person who just makes NEAT choices – to bring people joy.

    Don’t get used here.