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Posted at 9:31 AM ET, 02/28/2011

Kirk Douglas: The highlight of the 'young, hip' Oscar broadcast

By Liz Kelly

Sunday's Oscar broadcast was not, in the words of our own Hank Stuever, the youth revolution promised by the hot young hosting pair of James Franco and Anne Hathaway. (Which has us wondering -- will next year's show attempt to skew even younger with, say, Justin Bieber and Natalie Portman's baby hosting?)

Despite all the young blood, some of the night's best moments were delivered by card-carrying AARP members -- one-time Oscar fixture Billy Crystal, a CGI clip of Bob Hope and a deliciously feisty Kirk Douglas, who basically stole the show.

If you missed it, here's a clip of Douglas's segment, in which the 94-year-old screen legend gets more laughs in three minutes than James Franco got all night:

By Liz Kelly  | February 28, 2011; 9:31 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Oscars  | Tags:  Academy Awards, Oscars  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Oscar's best and worst dressed: Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett wow for totally different reasons.
Next: Video: Zachary Levi at the Academy Awards: 'Very surreal but a dream come true'

Comments

There is start to be a lemming-like quality to the media praise of the Douglas appearance. It was nice to see him getting around, but the stroke has affected him and there was some sadness to see "Spartacus" having trouble speaking. It reminded me of seeing Dick Clark on New Year's.

His appearance was fine, but I thought his segment should have been shorter.

Posted by: mypitts2 | February 28, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I really enjoyed Sandra Bullock's delivery when she introduced the Best Actor nominees. Saying to Colin Firth, "The Queen liked the movie...you can go home now," was a hoot!

Posted by: lydandy | February 28, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

He looked like he should have been in a casket! Dick Clark and Kirk need to stay out of the spotlight! Its great you survived a stroke but we shouldn't have to hear you speaking like you have marbles in your mouth at the Oscars. At least give the audience subtitles when he speaks.

Posted by: BKRoB | February 28, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Kirk is apparently the current elder statesman of the entertainment industry.While his speech has been affected, his timing, humor and apparent wit are still intact. It's possible his spot in the show was intended solely to entertain...wow...it would seem "age" and his post stroke symptoms were considered secondary to the entertainment value of his appearance by the director and producers.This article instills the tired ageism that the media encourages in our culture.The Academy Awards Show this season was the best in years.Masking the obvious by commenting on Portman's baby hosting next year's ceremony ...come on ladies.Irreverent reporting...maybe...

Posted by: sjccalvo | February 28, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

meh i thought the Kirk Douglas part was the worst part, I just felt bad for him. And the Bob Hope bit made no sense.

Posted by: spg2 | February 28, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I felt bad for Kirk when he first came on and your heard the affect the stroke had on him. But his feistiness and humor won me over and I thought his bit was the best of the show.

Posted by: patrickgama7 | February 28, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

I have to disagree with the majority opinion about Kirk Douglas' appearance last night, and not because of his physical ailments. I was pleased to see him demonstrate a sharp mind and keen wit, but thought he completely upstaged the supporting actress award presentation. It was their time to be in the spotlight, not his. His antics created an uncomfortable display that went on too long. If any younger, physically able person had done something similar, they would be roundly chastised. If Ms. Leo hadn't dropped the F-bomb, no one would remember the acceptance at all.

Posted by: apt718 | February 28, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Oh, grow up people. So his condition made you "feel bad" or made you a teensy bit uncomfortable? The man is close to 95, survived a massive stroke and is a great Hollywood legend whose work will be remembered for generations. He showed spirit and humor that far outgraced and outclassed anything the smug and indifferent Franco shuffled through. We as a society could stand to be around more older people and people who may look or sound in a way that challenges us. People get old, get sick and life takes a toll on us all. Bravo to those who are brave enough to continue on and unashamed to be who they are.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | February 28, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

To apt718:

I didn't mind Douglass' extended presence and didn't think it detracted from the award nominees or winner's moment either. If anything, it just made it more memorable. He's able to "get away with it" precisely because he's EARNED the right to be a little more playful and indulgent on momentous times like this. That's something Ricky Gervais doesn't understand. You can take more liberties when you've earned the respect of your peers through hard work over a long time and much accomplishment. If you can be a 95 year old all-time great movie star and still have the wherewithal to present an award you too can be a bit more irreverent and have people think you're adorable. I can guarantee that all the nominated actresses were honored to have a legend of his caliber presenting the award.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | February 28, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with apt718. While I was happy to see him included as a presenter, he went on too long. The award was not about him at all. His "stalling" on announcing the winner was annoying.
My favorite presenter was Sandra Bullock. She was perfect.

Posted by: JLRGG | February 28, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I think Anne Hathaway and James Franco suffered from horrible writing.
The opening movie sequence, Anne's song spoof, etc were all just very disjointed and looked like they were tossed together at the last minute.

Posted by: JLRGG | February 28, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Anne Hathaway and James Franco suffered from horrible writing.
The opening movie sequence, Anne's song spoof, etc were all just very disjointed and looked like they were tossed together at the last minute.

Posted by: JLRGG | February 28, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Yawn.

Posted by: YadaYada1 | February 28, 2011 1:00 PM | Report abuse

YadaYada1 wrote:

"Yawn."
___________________________________________

Ditto. I think the last time I watched was prior to having cable TV - many years ago.

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | February 28, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

You people objecting to having to look at and listen to old people are in for an awakening just as rude as your comments. You too will get old and forget and maybe slur your words some day too, if you are lucky enough to make it there with your out-dated attitudes towards aging. Old people built this country for you, they defended it against the likes of Tojo and deserve to be heard in their sunset years! Grow up.

Posted by: thw2006 | February 28, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

The show was boring. Kirk Douglas was okay but did go on a bit too long for my liking.
Bring back Billy Crystal!If you host the show you need to be funny and be able to throw out some one liners off the cuff. In the past few years I have enjoyed the Golden Globes much more than The Academy Awards.

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | February 28, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

The show was boring. Kirk Douglas was okay but did go on a bit too long for my liking.
Bring back Billy Crystal!If you host the show you need to be funny and be able to throw out some one liners off the cuff. In the past few years I have enjoyed the Golden Globes much more than The Academy Awards.

Posted by: DCWatcher3 | February 28, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I was happy to see Mr. Douglas receive the respect he deserves as the "Senior" star in the show. It was the butt kissing directed to Jack Nicholson is previous years that gave me the willies/

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | February 28, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Many (probably most) young Americans haven't had the benefit of being around a senior generation, so they don't realize the amazing things they could learn from them.

Kudos to Kirk for making it out there. He certainly was nowhere near the lamest part of the show.

Posted by: zappado | February 28, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

While I thought his bit went on a little too long as well, but I'm willing to overlook because he's Kirk "I am Spartacus!" Douglas.

Posted by: LittleRed1 | February 28, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

The Oscar presentation playbook script was all over the place without any coherent or compelling focus. Par for the course, perhaps. Still, it would have been nice if there were a couple of themes or points that informed the presentation ceremony -- or, lacking that, if the whole thing were a lot more, well, entertaining.

Posted by: Chicagoburned | February 28, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought Kirk Douglas was an embarrassment. He rambled (if you could even understand him), he tried to steal the spotlight from the nominees and winner (when they deserved the attention -- not him), and he wasn't funny at all. It was one of the saddest moments I've seen at the Academy Awards.

Posted by: joplinpbgv | February 28, 2011 11:20 PM | Report abuse

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