Rambling Reporter

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MacFarlane's Off-Key Moment: In-the-know locals have been hearing Seth MacFarlane croon for years at his regular haunt, popular Koreatown karaoke bar the Brass Monkey -- long before he released an album of standards, Music Is Better Than Words, this fall (nominated for a Grammy in the best traditional pop vocal album category). But all was not quite harmonious Dec. 13 when he abruptly ceased singing after catching an audience member recording him."He unloaded on this dude for taping it," explains one onlooker. "He stopped his song and made like he was going to walk off. He was definitely annoyed." The venue's host quickly lured MacFarlane back to duet with him on "What a Swell Party This Is." MacFarlane's rep insists the animation kingpin was never ruffled: "He just made fun of the guy as he always does with anyone that's videoing him. He didn't take it personally."

Gary Oldman: Bigger Than Life

Playing subtle spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has left Gary Oldman, famously known for his larger-than-life onscreen roles, with something he can't part with: "a big gut," the actor tells THR. "Tomas [Alfredson] wanted me to play Smiley at age 56, and I'm 53. So the fastest way to make myself age was to get dumpy. I just ate whatever the bloody hell I wanted -- everything in sight. My wife [34-year-old singer Alexandra Edenborough] called it 'eating for George.' " We knew this justification works for pregnant women, but actors? "It was damn hard to stop once I'd started. Recently, she reminded me, 'You know, darling, the movie's been over for some time.' … It was so much easier losing weight before age 50, damn it!" Luckily, his Commissioner Jim Gordon in the Dark Knight Rises is swathed in a trench coat.

How Jodie Foster Has Herself a Feliz Navidad

One way or another, the holidays are all about food. Even Jodie Foster, not a conspicuous partyer, gets fairly decadent with her Christmas feast, as she tells THR: "I do a big Mexican party. We do a posada. It's like a parade where everyone gets dressed up as Jesus and Mary and we have some goats and other animals that have nothing to do with biblical times and wigs and things. Then we light candles and go to the neighbors' houses and sing carols. Then we have dessert."

Power Lunch

Newbie restaurant Cooks County quickly has become quite the popular business spot. Early adopters include table duos Lynda Obst and Nora Ephron, actors Andre Royo (The Wire) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Ringer) and Mad Men casting directors Laura Schiff and Carrie Audino. Also visiting: Modern Family director Michael Spiller as well as a four-top consisting of NBC programming execs Tal Rabinowitz and Terence Carter and actor couple Allison Munn and Scott Holroyd. … The Little Door is as busy as ever. Sumner Redstone, Al Pacino, Eva Longoria, Jeff Goldblum, director Brad Silberling, NCIS' Cote DePablo, CSI's Wallace Langham and 2 Broke Girls writer Sonny Lee have each been in recently. Jennifer Love Hewitt shared a table with Hellcats' Aly Michalka. And Susie Coelho, of HGTV's Outer Spaces, held court over a party of nearly 30 people. … Irving Azoff celebrated his 64th birthday Dec. 13 at Five Guys Burgers and Fries (he owns the Southern California franchise rights of the cult East Coast favorite). … Making the scene at Ammo on one Wednesday: Joel McHale, Warner Bros. marketing vp Blair Rich, Ryan Murphy with Plan B exec Dede Gardner and Harold & Kumar creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg.