If you've seen Charles Barkley's most recent Weight Watchers commercial and thought his normally unmistakable voice sounded very un-Barkley-esque, you're not alone.

Sir Charles tells us the spot was taped when he had the flu. To make matters worse, he had lost his voice the day before the shoot while doing a press day amid the NCAA March Madness. Barkley says Weight Watchers was unable to reschedule the shoot so he had to tape while sick. The Sixers legend says he wishes he could have recorded a voice-over, though we imagine that would have looked like a poorly dubbed kung fu movie.

'Middle' actor shooting here

West Chester native/actor Charlie McDermott, who stars on ABC's "The Middle," is back in the area getting ready to shoot his directorial debut, "Imagi-Gary," about a young man trying to reconnect with the imaginary friend of his childhood. McDermott, whose first credit was a speaking role in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village," has lived in Los Angeles for several years but comes back to visit friends and family as often as he can.

"Imagi-Gary" is seeking extras for some shoots in May. Follow him on Twitter @CharlieMcDrmott for more information.


In town to accept the Union League's Lincoln Award, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and three guests dined upstairs at Ralph's (760 S. 9th) Friday night. Boehner's group went for roasted peppers and mozzarella, clams casino and mussels and veal entrees. The party had cannoli and espresso, and Boehner signed a placemat for the restaurant: "John Boehner, Speaker." Speaking of Ralph's, owners Jimmy and Eddie Rubino will be seen on "The Chew" Wednesday (1 p.m., ABC) giving up the family secret recipe for caramelized garlic.

"American Pie" singer and former Villanova student Don McLean played a private party Thursday night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where them good ol' boys (and girls) were drinking wine rather than whiskey and rye, in celebration of the Montgomery McCracken law firm's 100th anniversary.

Kevin Ryan, who's a CPA and partner with accounting and consulting firm Citrin Cooperman in Philadelphia and who is a board member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), attended a Global Traveler magazine-awards ceremony in Beverly Hills last week. There, he met the accounting department from the Emmy-winning series "The Office": Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin, as well as Angela Kinsey and Oscar Nuñez. The three actors appeared on behalf of the LLS.

Tasco dances to a win

Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco DROP-ped it like it's hot and charmed the crowd and judges with her cha-cha to win Sunday's Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars event at the Crystal Tea Room. Tasco and her partner, Nodari Tetruashvily, were crowd favorites at the event, benefitting the Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of America's Philadelphia/Delaware Valley chapter.

Nina Tinari of T2 Consultants and partner Tim Cartlidge took second place. In third was Kharisma McIlwaine of CBS3/CW Philly and her partner, Jesse Smith-Dow. Verde Salon stylist Kevin Gatto got honorable mention with partner Katie Mizak.

Other competitors: Inquirer managing editor and former Daily News editor Michael Days, paired with Society Hill Dance Academy owner Shana Vitoff; Anastasia Karloutsos, co-owner of the Water Works restaurant and lounge, who danced with Nik Pavlov; Marisa Magnatta, associate producer of 93.3 WMMR's "Preston and Steve" show, who was paired with Smith-Dow; also dancing with Pavlov was Julie Dorenbos, Skin Palette tanning salon co-owner, whose husband, Eagles long-snapper Jon Dorenbos, led a huge cheering section; and Telemundo Philadelphia's Eric Cortes, who danced with Colleen Cheung.

NBC10's Lori Wilson emceed the event, judged by state Sen. Larry Farnese, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and dance teacher LaDeva Davis.

Read Dan's latest at PhillyGossip.com, email DGross@phillynews.com, call 215-854-5963, follow him on Twitter @PhillyGossip. For recent columns: philly.com/dangross