In Telemachus and again in Scylla and Charybdis Mulligan calls Stephen "A lovely mummer! . . . Kinch, the loveliest mummer of them all!"; "O, you peerless mummer!" Mummers were (and, in some places, still are) impromptu comic actors who performed in the streets, in inns and public houses, and in visits to private houses (just as carolers and trick-or-treaters do). Their performances typically revolved around a story of death and resurrection: the young hero is killed, and a quack doctor revives him.

A party of mummers. The doctor stands at the far right, bearing a box marked PILLS. Source: www.thebookofdays.com.

British mummers. Source: www.artintheage.com.

The doctor revives the hero. Source: mairibheag.blogspot.com.