Stephen Thompson Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music. He appears every week on All Songs Considered and Pop Culture Happy Hour.
Washington, DC - May 03, 2016: Stephen Thompson CREDIT: Matt Roth
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Stephen Thompson

Matt Roth/NPR
Washington, DC - May 03, 2016: Stephen Thompson CREDIT: Matt Roth
Matt Roth/NPR

Stephen Thompson

Writer/Editor, NPR Music

Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the weekly NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)

In 1993, Thompson founded The Onion's entertainment section, The A.V. Club, which he edited until December 2004. In the years since, he has provided music-themed commentaries for NPR programs such as Weekend Edition, All Things Considered and Morning Edition, on which he earned the distinction of becoming the first member of the NPR Music staff ever to sing on an NPR newsmagazine. (Later, the magic of AutoTune transformed him from a 12th-rate David Archuleta into a fourth-rate Cher.) Thompson's entertainment writing has also run in Paste magazine, The Washington Post and The London Guardian.

During his tenure at The Onion, Thompson edited the 2002 book The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (Crown) and copy-edited six best-selling comedy books. While there, he also coached The Onion's softball team to a sizzling 21-42 record, and was once outscored 72-0 in a span of 10 innings. Later in life, Thompson redeemed himself by teaming up with the small gaggle of fleet-footed twentysomethings who won the 2008 NPR Relay Race, a triumph he documents in a hard-hitting essay for the book This Is NPR: The First Forty Years (Chronicle).

A 1994 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Thompson now lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his girlfriend, his daughter, their three cats and a room full of vintage arcade machines. (He also has a large adult son who has headed off to college but still calls once in a while.) Thompson's hobbies include watching reality television without shame, eating Pringles until his hand has involuntarily twisted itself into a gnarled claw, using the size of his Twitter following to assess his self-worth, touting the immutable moral superiority of the Green Bay Packers (who returned the favor by making a 22-minute documentary about his life) and maintaining a fierce rivalry with all Midwestern states other than Wisconsin.

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Map of the Soul: 7, the latest album from the K-pop band BTS, is among our picks for the week's best new releases. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 9 Albums Out On Feb. 21

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Ben Schwartz voices the titular Sonic in the new movie Sonic the Hedgehog. Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America. hide caption

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Courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega of America.

'Sonic The Hedgehog' And Fan Service

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Kevin Parker, aka Tame Impala. His latest release, The Slow Rush, is on our shortlist of the best new albums out on Feb. 14. Neil Krug/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 8 Albums Out Feb. 14

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Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won accept the original screenplay Oscars for Parasite at the 92nd Academy Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

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Singer Frazey Ford. Her latest full-length, U Kin Be the Sun, is on our shortlist for the week's best new releases. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 10 Albums Out Feb. 7

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An Oscar statue is seen during the 2020 Oscars Nominees Luncheon at the Dolby Theatre. Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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2020 Oscars Preview: Who Will Win And Who Should Win

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Shakira and Jennifer Lopez perform onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show at Hard Rock Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. Kevin Winter/Getty Images hide caption

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2020 Super Bowl: The Game, The Halftime Show, And The Commercials

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The singer and guitarist Torres. Her latest full-length, Silver Tongue, is on our shortlist of the best new albums out Jan. 31. Michael Lavine/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Michael Lavine/Courtesy of the artist

New Music Friday: Our Top 10 Albums Out On Jan. 31

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Will Smith returns as Mike Lowrey in the hit movie Bad Boys For Life. Kyle Kaplan/Columbia Pictures hide caption

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Best known for the 1997 hit "Flagpole Sitta," Harvey Danger had much more to offer, argues NPR's Stephen Thompson. Scott Gries/Getty Images hide caption

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The Forgotten Wordplay And Songcraft Of Harvey Danger

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