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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the subject of his fair share of jokes at tonight's Gridiron Gala, with a professional impersonator brought in to headline the show staged to benefit the Sacramento Press Club's Scholarship fund.

But at the end of the night, Schwarzenegger took the stage to poke some fun of his own.

"I stand in front of you tonight as probably the second most famous immigrant in the history of state of California," he said. "The first, of course, is Meg Whitman's maid."

The governor also got to turn the tables and take some shots at the press corps that has covered him during his seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger said he feels "great" about journalists -- and not just because he married one -- but he didn't hold back from zinging two seasoned Capitol scribes in the audience: Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton and The Bee's Dan Walters.

Schwarzenegger called the two, who had taken the stage during a skit performed earlier in the night, "the old folks coming up here."

"The guy was born when the Dead Sea was still sick," Schwarzenegger said of Skelton.

Walters' less-than-rosy outlook was razzed by the self-described optimist governor.

"Isn't he a positive guy Dan Walters? I love the guy... That guy could literally see Jesus walking on top of water and the next day the headline would be, "Isn't this the son of God? Why the hell can't he swim?"

Schwarzenegger cracked that the night's line-up, which included Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado and former Republican leader Jim Brulte resembled a "99-cent version of Mount Rushmore."

The remarks marked the eighth time Schwarzenegger has addressed a Sacramento Press Club function since he took office in 2003. Press Club President Rich Ehisen said Schwarzenegger's annual appearance at the press club events played a major role in raising money to fund the group's scholarship program.

This post has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Rich Ehisen's name.


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