Larry 'Moon' Thompson of KS95 dies after a long battle with MS

Larry "Moon" Thompson, the former co-host of "Moon & Staci" on KS95, has died. He was 65.

The broadcaster retired from the airwaves in 2019, 14 years after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Despite having to rely on a wheelchair, he retained his self-deprecating sense of humor right up to his last days on the show.

"Part of his charm is his ability to laugh at himself in a bad situation," on-air partner Staci Matthews said after one of his last regular broadcasts. "He can be a curmudgeon, but in an Oscar the Grouch kind of way."

Thompson's health took a bad turn this week.

"That's what is awful about MS. Your body keeps betraying you over and over again," said Tiffany Norton, a KS95 producer from 2013 to 2020. "He faced it all with a ton of dignity. He was always really positive."

KS95, which is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, paid tribute to him on the air Thursday after learning he had died overnight. The station's Facebook announcement on his death has drawn nearly 400 comments.

"His positive, energetic, often crazy, caring personality was [evident] to everyone around him," the station posted on its website. "He loved radio, making people laugh, and getting to know KS95 listeners."

Norton, who is also a stand-up comic, said Thompson never "punched down on people."

"He would make fun of himself before he would make fun of others," she said. "He just wanted people to laugh."

Before arriving in the Twin Cities, Thompson hosted shows in Omaha, Denver, Las Vegas and Houston.

Along the way, there were disgruntled listeners — one fired a bullet into the studio, forcing Thompson to slip on the next song from under a desk — and wacky promotions, such as dressing up as a werewolf and sitting for days on a 7-Eleven rooftop. At some point, a program director gave him the nickname Moondoggie after a character from the "Gidget" TV series.

Thompson and Matthews were never as outrageous as KDWB's Dave Ryan or KQ92′s Tom Barnard. Listeners gravitated to their heart-tugging conversations with Zach Sobiech, the Stillwater teenager who shared his emotions on air about battling terminal cancer; rundowns of showbiz gossip and goofy practical jokes, such as the one in which Thompson had fans believing he had been beaten up during a traffic altercation.

"The chemistry between the two of them has always been pretty special," Ginny Morris, the chief executive for Hubbard Radio said in 2019, 17 years after Thompson joined the station. "They just make people smile and help them forget what's happened after a long day of working. They put them in a good mood and feeling good about life."

Thompson was less than thrilled about his retirement.

"It's going to be hard," he said in 2019, almost boasting about how at least a dozen fans were reduced to tears saying goodbye to him at the Minnesota State Fair. "But it does have its blessings. I don't have to look for Kardashian stories anymore."