Nickname for Charles Thacher, a character on the four-season drama series Life Goes On. Corky was the lead character on the show, which was unusual because he had Down Syndrome, a first for television.

Corky would frequently have dreams, a plot device used for humor. Other notable events include an episode where Corky attempts to sneak a pig around the house, Corky accidentally burning down his father's restaurant because he forgot a burner, and Corky eloping with Amanda Swanson, who also had Down Syndrome. Although Corky was the main character, the plotlines were fairly evenly constructed around the other characters, and near the end, more focus was spent on HIV and AIDS (due to the Jesse McKenna character) than Down Syndrome.

Due to the high profile of the show (albeit low ratings), "Corky" had become an insult synonymous with "retard" on playgrounds where I lived. Children being naively mean-spirited, I assume this also happened in other areas where the show was televised.

Cork"y (-?), a.

1.

Consisting of, or like, cork; dry shriveled up.

Bind fast hiss corky arms. Shak.

2.

Tasting of cork.

 

© Webster 1913.

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