Archive for the ‘St.Gummo’ Category

St.Gummo Day

April 20, 2007

Gluttony, Gummo:5, 6006 YD

On this Fifth day of the month of Gummo, we again celebrate the life and legacy of St.Gummo Marx.

Milton Marx, known in entertainment (and esoteric circles) as Gummo, was one of the (in)famous Marx Brothers. Born in New York City, he initially worked with his brothers on the vaudeville circuit, but left acting when he was drafted into the army during the Great War. Gummo had been leaning more and more away from vaudeville and more and more toward esoteric magic, especially Hermetic Kaballism mixed with Dada, and the sigil system of Austin Osman Spare. He found the war to be materialistic counterpoint to the philosophical ideas of magick. It was there that he applied these practices in a practical sense for the one and only time, orchestrating the World War 1 “Battlfield Angel” visions. The visions were impressive, but failed to get him out of the horror of the war.

After leaving the army, Gummo began to make ceremonial cloaks. This proved not as lucrative as he had suspected, so he later he joined with his brother Zeppo Marx operating a theatrical agency. After that collaboration ended, Gummo represented his brother Groucho Marx and worked on the television show “The Life of Riley”, which he helped develop. He also represented other onscreen talent and a number of writers.

Gummo was given his nickname because he had a tendency to be sneaky backstage, and creep up on others without them knowing (like a gumshoe). Another explanation cited by biographers and family members is that Milton, being the sickliest of the brothers, often wore rubber overshoes, also called “gumshoes,” to protect himself from taking sick in inclement weather. Yet another explanation for his name is that he took the name of a little-known Babylonian God of mischief. Three of his brothers (Groucho, Chico, and Harpo) were given their nicknames during a card game at the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, Illinois, and the names stuck for their entire lives, his nickname, on the other hand, seems to have come from nowhere.

Gummo died on The Day of the Sacred Jellybean, by the Gregorian calendar, April 21, 1977, in Palm Springs, California. His death was not reported to Groucho, who by that time had become so ill and weak that it was thought the news would be of further detriment to his health.

Hail Eris – All Hail St.Gummo!

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