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Crystal: Today's TV writers "pushing it"

He may have played one of the first openly gay characters on TV — Jodie Dallas in the satiric 1970's comedy "Soap" — but according to The Wrap, actor/comedian Billy Crystal told a gathering at the Television Critics Association in California Sunday that he thinks today's TV writers and producers are going a little too far when it comes to gay storylines. "Sometimes, it's just pushing it a little too far for my taste and I'm not going to reveal to you which ones they are," Crystal, 66, said. Crystal was promoting his new series "Comedians," premiering on F/X in April, at the TCA. The actor also reminisced that the live audience often snickered inappropriately at some of his scenes in "Soap." "There were times when I would say to ('Soap' actor) Bob (Seagren), 'I love you,' and the audience would laugh nervously," Crystal recalled. "I wanted to stop the taping and go, 'What is your problem?'"

RIP A$AP Yams

A$AP Yams, founder of the Harlem rap collective A$AP Mob, has died. Yams, whose real name is Steven Rodriguez, was 26. His label, RCA Records, and Polo Grounds Music confirmed the death of the rapper. Details, including a cause of death, weren't available, but according to BET, Yams had struggled with drug addiction in recent years, with the main problems being codeine and Xanax. The rapper entered a rehab facility in July 2014, but reportedly his last tweet, January 16th, was "Bodeine Brazy," referring to one of his drugs of choice. Rolling Stone reports that fellow rappers paid tribute to Yams over the weekend; Drake Tweeted "Rest in peace Yams. A$AP is family," and Wale wrote, "Yams was a great spirit. Always wit the jokes good vibes EVERYtime."

Southern exposure

From the Honey Boo Boo desk comes a report that we haven't seen the last of "Mama June" Shannon, her sometime "partner" Sugar Bear, etc. According to TMZ.com, Sugar Bear moved out of June's house after she reportedly discovered he'd been seeing some women he met online. The reality show "Marriage Boot Camp" got wind of the troubles, and has contacted them to appear, but June is not so sure Sugar Bear wants to, he's liking the single life. "I was willing to do it," June said with a shrug. She pointed out that one of the reasons she did "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" was to take care of Sugar Bear's medical expenses, the cost of his truck and trailer — both of which are now gone from her property. "He took everything." she said. "What he didn't take, we burned."

Also...

Insane Clown Posse put out a call on Monday looking for a Juggalette — that's ICP slang for a female fan — who is "articulate, quick-witted, comfortable being interviewed on camera, and fully schooled in the Dark Carnival universe." Those who fit the bill and want to participate in an upcoming ICP project should email a headshot and a short introductory video to psychocasting@gmail.com, according to the post, which can be viewed at insaneclownposse.com.

swhitall@detroitnews.com

Today's birthdays

Bill Maher, 58

Melissa Rivers, 46

Paul Stanley, 62

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