Kirk Douglas was there for the sentimental reasons and to honor a man who has been a BIG part of the history of what made Hollywood great...but frankly, the show would have been better served without him. He has made a miraculous comeback from his stroke. He lets many people know there's hope and what can be accomplished after a stroke.
If you haven't seen these wooden host performances then trust me on this. there's only one in the last 15 yrs worth a damn. When and if Billy Crystyal is the host, it's very funny. When he spots something to make fun of (often an easy task), he has the discipline plus the instant comeback ability. He is the MAN! I swear that there's been no one funnier. Let's see what I can find on Youtube of his comebacks at the awards show.
OK, I found something funny of his from the 72nd Awards show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17YdgX_Z2eQ