Washington Post's Tom Shales: "We really need a second Mount Rushmore memorial; this one for Groucho, Harpo and Chico. But (this) madly enjoyable documentary finds another place for them in the meantime.
"It is all but impossible to love the Marx Brothers and not enjoy this show. It is all but impossible to enjoy this show and not come away from it loving the Marx Brothers even more than one already did."
L.A. Herald Examiner: "Anyone who has ever doubled over in laughter at the absurd antics of Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo should swarm around their small screens for The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell, a delightful, incisive and absolutely irresistible account of the illustrious comedy team's career.
"Writers Robert Weide and Joe Adamson should take a bow for this affectionate, altogether fitting homage."
Boston Globe: "It offers a marvelous evening, not only for their fans but for anyone who needs a good laugh.
"A fascinating montage and a visual history of their rise to stardom."
N.Y. Newsday's Marvin Kitman: "This wonderful, amusing, informative documentary is like going to a penny candy store when everything is free. Weide has got film clips from all the classic Marx movies, many of which were never clipped before. It's a lot of fun. Weide deserves an Emmy.
San Fransisco Chronicle: "Well done...a rewarding experience...thoughtfully made."
Detroit News: "A near-faultless examination of the life and times of the Marx Brothers...a deftly woven tapestry of five distinct talents...enhanced (by) a terrifically shrewd and seamless job of editing.
"The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell is as succinct and satisfying a film account of the Marx Brothers as we are likely to see."
Oakland Tribune: "Marvelously entertaining and informative." "A wealth of clips from Marx Brothers' movies makes the documentary an immediate visual delight and Gene Kelly's narration is a real plus."
Los Angeles Daily News: "Jam-packed with information, clips and little-known facts about the Brothers Marx. (It) brings those elements together in a most intelligent and thoroughly entertaining manner."
T.V. Guide: "A tender, loving look at one of America's most uproarious, outrageous - and beloved - comedy acts.
"A cornucopia of classic comedy."
New Orleans Time-Picayune: "Should delight both the casual Marx Brothers fan - who can't quite place Zeppo - and the rabid aficionado, who knows all the words to "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady. It is at once a lively entertainment and a documentary of some value.
"Wonderfully entertaining and informative."
Contra-Costa County Times: "Affectionate...often hilarious."
Lowell Sun: "Delightful...One of the most affectionate and informative retrospectives ever made.
"The program strikes a fine balance. There are plenty of laughs, but not so many that the documentary aspect loses momentum. It's informative, but the facts don't drown out the comedy...The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell is great fun and very classy television."
Stamford Advocate: "The outstanding treat of the week."
Portland Oregonian: "An enjoyable assemblage...the program is delightful."
Tampa Tribune: "A tender, loving tribute peppered with vintage film clips... filled with behind-the-scenes stories."
Sacramento Bee: "Works beautifully...definitely a piece for Marx maniacs to add to their archives. As for the rest of us, it is just good old fun."
Fullerton News Tribune: "One of the most entertaining and enlightening looks at the sassy siblings to come down the pike.
"A finely organized piece of work.
"Besides being wildly funny, In A Nutshell emerges as a piercing, vivid, very thorough examination of the brothers and the source of their appeal."