By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“What do you mean by one-dimensional?” I ask.
“I mean, we’re kind of thought of as nerds, weather guys, are. There’s sort of a wonkish aspect to it all.”
The L.A. weather guy is such a cliché, in fact, that it’s an embarrassing job for him at times.
“It makes me reflexively apologetic,” he says. “It’s like, ‘What, you work 30 seconds a day? It’s gonna be sunny and 72 with some morning fog?’”
When he did the weather in Denver, by contrast, every day was rock and roll — intense thunderstorms and tornadoes swarming in the afternoon. That was not fun. Thompson has deep respect for the L.A. cliché and will gladly live it any day.
Sometimes he’ll notice other weather guys just reading the temperatures off the board. That guy’s just phoning it in, Thompson will think. “I will never phone it in, ever. That would be an insult to the audience. I could read the tickertape or wire copy, but if I’m gonna do that, they might as well just read it themselves. I’m distilling it, giving it a little bit of panache. Showmanship is important, but at the same time you don’t want to be David Copperfield out there or court jester.”
One of his goals is to be accessible to as many people as possible. “That’s why I like to keep it all pretty . . . ”
Keep it real?
“Keep it real, baby! I like to talk on the street. I like to lay down the knowledge every night.”
“Did you want to be a weather guy when you were a kid?” Something ineffably charming, energetic, personable and unpretentious about him makes me wonder. He’s been asking me just as many questions as I’ve been asking him.
He shakes his head. “I just wanted the bus to come, I was freezing my butt off.”
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