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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Hello, Larry!

HOH has been mourning the loss to our gossipy community of former Sen. Larry Craig, who retired after his bathroom-stall antics were uncovered. But HOH is taking off her black armband because Craig’s back, baby — at least for the moment.

A Roll Call reporter spotted the Idaho Republican lunching Thursday in the buffet cafeteria in the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The retired Senator (who our intrepid witness says looks trim, happy and well-rested) was catching up with at least one of his former colleagues: Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) approached Craig to say hello.

And ... Action! Things are shaping up for the new Owen Wilson/Paul Rudd/Reese Witherspoon movie set to film in Washington this summer, with Mayor Adrian Fenty on Thursday hyping the economic boon the flick will bring to the city.

And he wasn’t just talking about the pricey cocktails Wilson and his entourage will be tossing back at the city’s fancier bars.

The Columbia Pictures film crew and cast will stay in the city for 14 weeks (counting actual filming as well as pre- and post-production work) and will hire 100 local crew and several hundred local extras, bringing in bucks for the local economy, Fenty enthused.

Silly HOH — our first thought on hearing that news wasn’t joy for the city’s coffers, but anticipation for all the celeb-spotting the hoopla will bring this summer.

Locations including Nationals Park and local neighborhoods will be the backdrop of the movie, which reportedly has Wilson as a baseball pitcher vying against Rudd for the heart of the sunny Witherspoon, whose character is a softball player. And, this just in: The Hollywood Reporter says that the legendary Jack Nicholson is in talks with producers to join the cast in the role of Witherspoon’s father.

We also liked the shout-out that director James Brooks (of “Terms of Endearment” fame) gave the city in the press release Fenty sent out. “I had the privilege of filming Broadcast News in the DC area, and no matter how long or hard the day was, on my drive home, I could always look forward to the beauty of the city,” Brooks said. “It is, to me, the great city of the world.”

Stop the Music. The cable news wars hit a new note on Wednesday night — and it wasn’t particularly melodious.

A team of reporters from CNN and another from Fox News battled for karaoke supremacy at the Childhelp’s annual “Capitol Careaoke” event, which raises money to help children who have suffered abuse.

Held this year at the Newseum — appropriate digs considering all the journalists in attendance — the event showcased the vocal talents (or lack thereof) of a number of Washington VIPs, from Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) — who joined a group onstage and sang Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” — to D.C. Councilman Jack Evans (D), to (full disclosure) Roll Call’s own publisher, Peter Cherukuri.

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