A/N Maybe I just wanted to be the first to write Corny/Maybelle. MAY I BE THE FIRST OF MANY. /cracks champagne bottle over keel of ship/
It occurred to me that no pair of right-thinking, white, middle-class parents in the 1930s is gonna name their kid 'Corny'. Cue browsing the most popular names for around that time and struggling heroically with Maybelle's voice.
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"So, why Corny?"
Corny Collins blinked at his co-host. "Excuse me?"
'Motormouth' Maybelle Stubbs tilted her elegant head towards the show title at their backs, quietly so as not to be heard over the slow love song currently being crooned by IQ, Mikey, and Sketch. "Mine is obvious, dear, but I would think you would have gone for something more flattering."
"Oh." He seemed to consider his options. "Well...I didn't much care for my given name, so I always took whatever nickname came at me. Corny's not so bad."
"Is that so?" Maybelle leaned in towards him with an interested gleam. Her eyes crinkled up at the corners when he appeared to still be reticent. "It can't be any worse than 'Maybelle', honey."
He drew himself up to his full height--which was actually half an inch taller than her, curse women's fashion, must talk to wardrobe about those shoes. "Maybelle is a lovely name. Anyone says different, and I'll...chastise them severely."
Maybelle laughed. Point for Mr. Collins, doing the human race a favor by making Ms. Stubbs laugh since 1960. "Come on, Corny. I won't mock you, I promise."
His practiced white smile was a bit pained. "Rory."
She considered it seriously. "I'm afraid I don't see the problem."
"Listen to a kid try to say it and you might."
"Oh." She covered up a smile and looked at him sympathetically. "Inez had trouble with 'R's for a few years."
He groaned in rememberance. "She had nothing on me. I had a terrible lisp when I was boy, and telling people 'my name is Wowwy' got old very, very quickly. Dad didn't like it either, and when Mother died he called me by my middle name, inspiring a long and noble tradition of nicknames for myself."
"And you chose 'Corny' over your middle name...?"
Corny grinned at her ruefully. "My middle name is 'Augustus'."
She chuckled silently and helplessly. "Oh dear."
"Tell me about it." The current number ended and the two snapped back into professionalism with practiced ease as they introduced the next.
Seaweed and Link were engaging in a good-natured competition that didn't hurt their ratings in the female 10-20 catagory a bit, and the former's mother slanted a challenging look at her partner. "You want to go out and show those kids how it's done?"
Corny Collins cracked his knuckles. "If you're willing to dance with a skinny white man."
Maybelle arched her eyebrows and lifted her chin to give him an amused look. "Am I too much woman for you, Rory?"
The name sounded a lot better coming from her. He smiled his least-corny and most dazzling smile. "No such thing, Maybelle. No such thing."
"Ooh." She shook an admonishing finger. "Don't you go doin' that near my Seaweed. Or Link, for that matter. They think they're charming enough...they don't need lessons."
"Sweetheart..." Corny leaned in and looked up from under his brows. "I think anything Seaweed knows about being charming can't be blamed on me."
With a warm peal of laughter and flirtaciously crooked finger, Motormouth Maybelle led Corny Collins to the dance floor to show the kids what some grown-ups can do.