Cannon falls short in quest to break hugs record

Cannon falls short in quest to break hugs record

NEW YORK -- Despite a valiant effort, entertainer Nick Cannon came up 52 embraces shy of breaking the world record for hugs in one hour Friday evening at Citi Field. Cannon doled out 1,698 hugs to fans entering the stadium in an attempt to set a world record and promote his radio show on 92.3 NOW FM.

Each person who hugged Cannon was given a free commemorative T-shirt, and the toy company WowWee donated a Paper Jamz toy to the Mets Care Room at the New York Hospital of Queens for every Cannon hug.

"52 off!" an exasperated Cannon said after a brief cool-down period. "We've got to do it again. I felt like if we had started a little later and closer to the door, we would have got it."

Cannon said he was inspired to attempt the feat because he has always wanted to set a world record and because he is known as a prolific and outstanding hugger.

While a man named Nick Vujicic remains the holder of the one-hour hugging record, several other Guinness World Records were set Friday at Citi Field. While waiting in line before Cannon arrived at the park, Carmela Risquez and Jackie Stinson -- college students from New Jersey -- set a world record by exchanging 108 high-fives in 30 seconds.

The two young ladies were already attending the game and decided to stop by for hugs when they heard about the event on the radio.

"It was awesome!" Risquez said of setting a world record. "My hands still hurt. We bruised a little bit."

The evening will also be a memorable one for 6-year-old Ryan Carty of Huntington, N.Y. Carty was at Citi Field for his first live baseball game with his father, Jimmy, after watching the Mets on television. Though Ryan came to the game mostly to see his favorite player, Jose Reyes, both he and his father are fans of Cannon from listening to his radio show together.

"We listen to it all the time," Jimmy Carty said. "He's funny, he's very good with people. It's one of the best morning shows I listen to."

"He plays good music," Ryan Carty added.

Indeed, even though Cannon was unable to set the world record, plenty of people, including Cannon, came away with smiles on their faces.

"1,698 kids still get toys," Cannon said. "It was a thing where I always wanted to break a world record, I've been known for giving good hugs and I thought I could pull it off, but I didn't know it was so difficult."