Vulture's Jen Chaney went behind the scenes with Kornacki, described by Jezebel as "the best board monkey in the game" and "the only good thing about election night," as he worked on his election night big board, starting at 4:59 p.m. ET on Super Tuesday: "Over the next eight hours, until shortly after 1 a.m. on non-super Wednesday, Kornacki will do what he’s excelled at doing for four election cycles since 2014: explain whether it’s a landslide (or not) with the energy and authoritativeness of a political wonk who’s just knocked back a couple of Red Bulls and has lost all sense of chill," says Chaney. "Tonight, the 40-year-old, openly gay Massachusetts native will do that less than 24 hours after he was drafted to host Monday’s episode of Hardball, immediately following the resignation of MSNBC institution Chris Matthews." Kornacki confirms he got a head's up earlier Monday that he'd fill in for Matthews after his "retirement" announcement. “It really got to me watching (Matthews’s sign off), and then I went out there and I had to say something for 20 seconds,” says Kornacki, who told producers beforehand that he wanted to ad lib his initial response and “react with everybody else and tell them, This is hitting you and it’s hitting me.” “Whatever I said on the air,” he added, “that was my raw reaction to what I had just seen.” Chaney adds: "The fact that he was asked to handle such a delicate situation while juggling everything that lay ahead on Super Tuesday — which turned out to be an 18-hour work day, save for one break from 2 to 4 p.m. when he took a walk to clear his head — speaks to the confidence the MSNBC higher-ups have in him, as well as his reputation as a reliable, unflagging presence in the studio."