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QUIRKY BOOK QUOTES

La publicite! When my longtime pal, Helen Gurley Brown, asked me to give a quote on her latest book, "I'm Wild Again," I wrote that I thought it would cause her to be ridden out of town on a rail. I held my breath. But Helen loved the quote and it is being used in bookstores everywhere.

Now here's another "quote" story. Author Leslie Aldridge Westoff got in touch with her former hubby, the esteemed journalistic maven Clay Felker, to ask if his current wife, Gail Sheehy, would give a quote for a new book titled "Passionate Sex, Discover the Special Power in You."

Clay opined that while the request "wasn't exactly immoral, it wasn't exactly right." He passed. So Westoff went to an even more famous writer, Norman Mailer, and he has given one of the quirkiest quotes in literary history. Norman says he hasn't read Westoff's book because he is busy with his own "stuff . . . but if the author delivers one-tenth of what is promised in the title, the book will be the bargain of the year."

Steve Martin is set to be feted at the annual American Museum of the Moving Image gala happening March 3 in the Waldorf-Astoria. Lorne Michaels, the man behind "Saturday Night Live," will serve as chairman of this year's salute. (Martin has hosted "SNL" more than any other star.) Among those expected are Mike Nichols, Martin Mull, Sarah Jessica Parker and Christine Baranski.

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