How MSNBC's Steve Kornacki became a viral sensation in the wake of Election Night

Tyler Aquilina
·5 min read

Joe Biden is set to become the next President of the United States, but plenty of questions still need answering. Perhaps none more important than this one: Who is Steve Kornacki, and why is everyone suddenly obsessed with him?

The MSNBC anchor has become a viral sensation over the past week, his profile bolstered by cable news' ongoing election coverage as vote-counting dragged on for days in crucial states. All the while, Kornacki stood by his trusty touch-screen electoral map in the MSNBC studio, providing updates and data analysis as the numbers rolled in.

Social media users, including several celebrities, praised Kornacki for his dedication to covering the election in real time. Leslie Jones was especially enthusiastic, posting a (NSFW) video of her hilarious reaction to Kornacki pulling out a calculator during his broadcast. "Hey Steve, you ain't gotta do it all, cuz," Jones said, laughing. "They got people in the back that can do that for you!"

As the days wore on, some began to express concern for the seemingly tireless Kornacki (although he did take a nap break at one point). "I honestly dunno how steve is still going im bout to die," Chrissy Teigen wrote on Wednesday. Billy Eichner, on the other hand, was less receptive: "I’m gonna be honest - I don’t like that they let Steve Kornacki take a nap," the comedian tweeted.

But Kornacki rarely took a break after results began arriving on Tuesday, providing live coverage for more than 12 hours straight into Wednesday morning. Thursday evening, as new vote totals continued to arrive from Pennsylvania, he returned to the studio rather than take a scheduled sleep break.

As the week wore on, observers became more and more awed, as well as more and more, shall we say, thirsty.

Even Kornacki's coworkers got into the act. "I’ve known @SteveKornacki for years now and I can honestly say I’ve never seen him eat or drink," MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin tweeted. "There’s been some reporting he may be a robot." Wrote Velshi host Ali Velshi on Wednesday, "In the interest of preserving him for America, I will remove @SteveKornacki from TV at noon today and place him in protective custody in a room with comfy blankets, soft pillows and warm milk."

MSNBC also kept the online hype alive with the hashtage #TrackingKornacki throughout the week. And thus a viral star was born.

Now that the election has finally been called, it seems Kornacki might finally get some well-deserved rest. But his new stans are not going away. "Twitter I know you well and I know you will THROW ASIDE AND FORGET KORNACKI AND I WONT ALLOW IT!" Teigen tweeted Saturday.

He won't be gone long anyway; even with the race now called for Biden, vote totals in a handful of states remain incomplete. In other words, Kornacki's watch has not yet ended. But know that he's seen your kind words — and he appreciates them.

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