Shaquille O’Neal​ is handing out free Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Times Square - Metro US

Shaquille O’Neal​ is handing out free Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Times Square

This is how the Original Glazed magic happens at Krispy Kreme. Courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Did you know Shaquille O’Neal is a franchisee in the premier hot, glazed doughnut empire that is Krispy Kreme?

We didn’t either, but all of New York City is about to find out when Shaq brings a pop-up Krispy Kreme doughnut stand to Times Square on Thursday, July 13.

From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., he’ll be giving out (though hopefully not making us jump for it) doughnuts at the pop-up in Times Square Plaza at the corner of Seventh Avenue and 44th Street. Though the one-day-only store will be open later, you’ll have to get up early if you want to have Shaq hand you one personally.

It’s all to celebrate the 80th birthday of the brand and the first original glazed doughnut rolling off its in-store assembly line. The pop-up’s main event will feature Shaq as part of a “special birthday moment” with a “unique box” containing 80 doughnuts around 11:30 a.m. That explains why here’s there — Shaq is probably the only one with large enough hands to wrangle nearly seven dozen doughnuts at once.

Since you’re already there, we suggest pairing your doughnut with some political ice cream flavors from Ice & Vice. Why settle for one good thing when you can have two?

If prospect of a selfie with Shaq and a free treat are not quite enough to brave Times Square for you, Krispy Kreme isn’t done celebrating yet.

On Friday, July 14, swing by its singular NYC location inside Penn Station — so maybe not much less of a hassle than Times Square — to score a dozen original glazed doughnuts for 80 cents when you buy any dozen doughnuts.

The first Krispy Kreme store opened on July 13, 1927 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but the recipe that started it all came from a New Orleans pastry chef. Since then, they’ve opened over 1,000 locations in 22 countries.

The doughnuts were originally fried by hand until 1963, when Krispy Kreme installed its now-famous in-store fryers. Alas, the ones at Penn Station come from Pennsylvania, but the yeasty confections are still soft and delicious, and won’t suffer from a few seconds in the microwave.

Here’s how the magic happens:

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