TODAY   |  April 11, 2014

Guinness record set on TODAY for longest comic strip

With help from school kids from around the country, “Big Nate” cartoonist Lincoln Peirce sets a Guinness World Record on TODAY for the longest comic strip in the world. The strip is so long it snakes around Rockefeller Plaza.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back. it's the last day of our series spring breakers. today our final attempt at a guinness world record is for the world's longest cartoon strip . to set the stage, this all started with a practice session if queens last week. so guinness could make the official measurements. overnight, dozens of helpers were hard at work laying down this cartoon strip by lincoln peirce . he is the cartoonist behind the popular strip and book series big nate . it starts in front of 30 rock . it snakes into the skating rink , over 49th street , and finally to us here on the plaza. the length to beat, 3,320 feet, two inches. carson will tell you that was set in 2011 by a group of school students in france. we're going to find out if the big nate team broke the record in a moment. but first, lincoln peirce 's story.

>> my name is lincoln peirce , i live in portland, maine, and i'm a cartoonist. i draw a comic strip called " big nate ." big nate is in 300 newspapers worldwide. and the books have been translated into 25 different languages. big nate is an 11-year-old boy. he's in sixth grade. and he is his own biggest fan. he's just one of those kids that trouble kind of follows him around. big nate is 11 years old, and i'm 50 years old, but i feel like i'm still 11. in the history of the world , there has been one perfect snack food created. it's called cheesedoodles. they're addictive. they get orange powder all over everything. they're just delicious. nate is a lot like me. he passionately dislikes three things. cats, figure skating, and egg salad . i hate cats because they're not dogs. i have a dog named scout. she is awesome. she's sort of dysfunctional. she's kind of neurotic. her current favorite foods are cherry yogurt. she licks up my cherry yogurt after i eat it. she'll eat anything. my god. she'll eat cat pop. but we won't put that in the piece. i hate egg salad because it's disgusting. it's this vile yellow color. it smells horrible. the texture is gross. you're on a desert island , you can survive by eating egg salad or you can die, i might choose death. nate is obsessed with a weatherman named wink summers. and i'm obsessed with a weatherman, al roker . i've put al roker in my comic strip . to be there with al as this world record is set would be fantastic. and then, as we go to commercial break , we're just going to hug it out. big hug from al roker . then i can die happy .

>> and lincoln peirce is with us now along with mike janella down on the end from guinness world records . the latest installment in the " big nate " series is called "in the zone." nice to see you.

>> hi, matt, good morning.

>> what's the fascination with al roker ?

>> al's the greatest. i used to live in new york . when al took over for dr. frank field , right?

>> yes.

>> and i remember. he started showing up on the "today" show. and i just liked al. al makes everybody happy.

>> have you drawn him yet?

>> oh yeah, i've drawn me and al standing side by side .

>> you have some high school history, too, right?

>> two things that we share in common, besides being bald and wear glasses, are lincoln -- his first name, my middle name is lincoln. and he taught for a while at the same high school i went to, xavier high school .

>> al is a legend there.

>> so you're 50 going on 11.

>> that's right. that's what they tell me.

>> how do you get the material then? how are you thinking like an 11-year-old?

>> you know, it's kind of boring. i sit in a chair, i try not to fall asleep, and if i come up with a good idea, it's a good day.

>> how did you start this? were you doodling as a kid?

>> i was always doodling. al, you were a cartoonist as a kid, too. it's like you're doodling on your homework and the margins of your notebook, all that stuff. and the teachers don't want to see it, but that's what you do. you're creative. you want to tell stories.

>> we're going to lay down the panels here. we've all got our strips here.

>> this is strip 1,200.

>> all right. so what are we looking to break here?

>> 1,202. the end.

>> looking to break the longest cartoon strip by a team. the previous record was 3,320 feet and two inches. we measured this thing from beginning to end. ready for the result?

>> yes.

>> it's a new record, 3,900 feet two inches. [ applause ]

>> nice.

>> how long did that take you, by the way?

>> well, all the work was really done mostly by school kids around the country. so they were basing it on drawings that i had already done in the " big nate " books.

>> in honor of this record, harper collins is donating 10,000 books to first book, which provides reading and educational materials to disadvantaged kids. mike, thank you for a great week. and for helping out. let's