Ellen DeGeneres is one of those women who seems ageless. Her energy, kindness and ability to make us laugh evidently have no bounds. However, Ellen is, in fact, mortal, and her 55th birthday is January 26th.

The celebrations started early on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" -- readers sent in virtual gifts, and Ellen played a slideshow of her unbelievably adorable baby photos. And let's not forget the birthday cake.

Recently we commemorated Michelle Obama's 49th birthday with a list of 49 things we love about the first lady, and we created a similar list for Hillary Clinton when she turned 65 in October. It's only fitting that we give Ellen the tribute she deserves, too.

So here's our list, 55 reasons to love Ellen Degeneres on her 55th:

1. She finally brought Kristen Bell a sloth. After Bell revealed her sloth-related 31st birthday breakdown on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in early 2012, Ellen joked that she had a cute sloth waiting backstage to introduce Bell to. Ellen finally made good on that promise during Bell's January 2013 appearance, when Ellen invited the actress to feed bananas to a visiting sloth named Lola.

2. In 2008, Ellen told Modern Dog magazine: "My life is my journey, and mine alone. I either feel good about something, or if I don't, I know I made a mistake [and I] learn from it."

3. She has her own ride at Disney. Ellen's Energy Adventure is a popular attraction at the Epcot Future World park.

4. She is constantly early. Interviewers at O, The Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping noted Ellen's early arrival for their appointments -- apparently a rarity among celebrities.

5. Her hilarious campaign to appear on the cover of O, The Oprah Magazine. Ellen begged her way onto the cover of O by mentioning it on her show constantly, photoshopping images of herself onto existing covers of past issues and creating an "O Yes I Can" vision board. In December 2009, Ellen's wish came true when she appeared with Oprah on an O cover. The only other person who had ever been pictured with Oprah was Michelle Obama.

6. She's funny without cursing -- because it's more difficult. In 2004, she told NBC's Stone Phillips:" I mean, if you put "f***" in front of anything, an audience is going to laugh. You know? It just-- it's easy. And I like a challenge."

7. The best seat in the house at "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" is reserved for Ellen's mom, Betty. In the October 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping, David Hochman wrote that Ellen's octogenarian mother was a regular at tapings of her daughter's show.

8. She was the voice of Dory in "Finding Nemo."

9. She's an advocate for the environment, and encourages her viewers to think about how they can affect change on ecological issues. She was quoted in "The Green Book" as saying: "People don’t realize how little it takes to change our world for the better."

10. Her motto is "Let's try to beat that."

11. She challenged Michelle Obama to a push-up contest -- and lost gracefully. When FLOTUS appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in early 2012 to promote "Let's Move!," Ellen challenged her to a push-up competition. It didn't end well for Ellen, but she was a good loser.

12. She believes that humor should always be kind, and holds herself to a high standard of compassion. She told Good Housekeeping:

"The most important thing for me is to know that I represent kindness. I'm glad I'm funny. I'm glad I make people happy, because that's very important. But I'm proud to be known as a kind person. You listen to any monologue on late-night TV or just in general, to people talking, and there's always a joke at someone's expense. It's sarcasm; it's nasty.
Kids grow up hearing that, and they think that's what humor is, and they think it's OK. But that negativity permeates the entire planet."

13. She became an ethical vegan in 2009 -- at the age of 50, proving it's never too late to live according to your beliefs.

14. She worked a variety of jobs before getting into her groove as a comedian. In her teens and early twenties, Ellen worked as a legal associate, vacuum salesperson, TGIFriday's waitress, house painter, oyster shucker and sales clerk, among other things. She has stated that these experiences inspired many of her early comedy routines.

15. She tries not to judge others. In an interview with O, The Oprah Magazine, Ellen said: "I am saddened by how people treat one another and how we are so shut off from one another and how we judge one another, when the truth is, we are all one connected thing. We are all from the same exact molecules."

16. She came out on "Ellen." Coming out can be a very difficult personal step -- emphasis on the personal. We love that Ellen's announcement was filled with humor and aired publicly on her sitcom. Despite the possibility of a backlash -- which followed almost immediately -- she chose not to hide.

17. She was named Showtime's "Funniest Person in America" in 1982 -- and is still making us laugh over 30 years later. Ellen has longevity in a notoriously difficult business.

18. Readers voted her 1997 TIME magazine cover one of the best ever.

19. She was the first female comedian invited to sit on the couch with Johnny Carson. Ellen appeared on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" in 1986. She told Entertainment Weekly: "It was a big deal, because he'd only done that, at the time, with a few men in the history of the show."

20. She hosted the Oscars in 2007, making her only the second women to M.C. the Academy Awards solo. Critics were divided on her performance, but Tom Shales of the Washington Post called it "a crisp and unpretentious job."

21. She doesn't think entertainers need to be sexualized. In 2004, she told TIME: "In a way, I think we've seen enough nudity. It's getting to where we're all numb, and in a way, I'm against (sigh) all the sexuality that's all over the place."

22. She won't compromise herself in the name of success. She told Oprah: "I want people to like me -- but not at my expense."

23. She collects antique portraits, proving that you can be incredibly successful and famous and still not be entirely mainstream.

24. If she could be anonymous for a day, she would do totally normal things. Ellen told Good Housekeeping: "I like sitting at outdoor restaurants; it would be nice to go someplace on the street and not worry about somebody taking my picture while I'm about to take a bite of something."

25. She became a CoverGirl in 2009, and was unapologetically herself in the campaign.

26. ...and used that platform to grant a young girl's wish. In September 2012, Ellen invited her long-time fan and teen cancer patient Talia Castellano to appear on her show. Ellen made Tara an honorary CoverGirl.

27. She describes her greatest achievements as "being able to do what I love, and being able to install a dimmer." Awesome.

28. Her dramatic reading of "Fifty Shades Of Grey" still has us laughing. Do not eat the pancakes.

29. Her prom picture re-take. Ellen swapped awkward prom photos with Michelle Obama, then re-staged hers, totally owning her teen awkwardness.

30. Criticism about her appearance doesn't faze her. In response to appearing on a worst-dressed list, Ellen said: "This business manipulates and screws up women's — and men's — views of what we're all supposed to look like… My gender-bender style is apparently a bore."

31. She's full of energy -- all the time. In 2006, Ellen told Redbook: "I'd like to be more patient! I just want everything now. I've tried to meditate, but it's really hard for me to stay still. I'd like to try to force myself to do it, because everybody says how wonderful meditation is for you, but I can't shut my mind up. So patience and learning is the key."

32. In 2012, she won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Ellen's response to the news was typically hilarious: "It's such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder… why didn't I get this sooner?"

33. She doesn't let her critics get her down. She told Shape magazine: “When I came to Hollywood, my whole motivation was to be loved and appreciated, which is the stupidest thing in the world … You think, ‘If I’m famous, everyone will love me.’ The truth is, when you’re famous, some people will love you and some people will hate you for the exact same thing.”

34. Her wedding to Portia was pretty much the most beautiful thing we've ever seen. The pair married in 2008 at their home in L.A., after dating for four years. Ellen told People: What can I say? I'm the luckiest girl in the world."

35. The video of Ellen and Portia going Christmas tree shopping, which makes us wish it was the holidays all the time.

36. She made Britney Spears go carol singing with her, which would have been amazing even without the pilgrim costumes.

37. Way back in 2011, Ellen was named one of Forbes' Top 10 Celebrity Tweeters. She has over 16 million followers to date.

38. She believes in bravery. Ellen told Shape magazine: "I think I read somewhere that courage isn’t about doing something you’re not scared of. Courage is doing something in spite of the fact that you are scared of it.”

39. That ping pong table. We were blown away by a lot of things when Ellen and Portia opened up their home to Architectural Digest in 2011, but one of the most amazing things in their house -- and the first thing guests saw upon entering -- was undoubtedly the glass ping pong table made by Rirkrit Tiravanija.

40. Her rapping session with Rebel Wilson. On an October 2012 episode of "The Ellen Degeneres Show," the two performed an outstanding rendition of "Shoop" by Salt-N-Pepa. Can we get that on iTunes?

41. She praised Kate McKinnon's impression of her on SNL. Not all celebrities are a fan of SNL skits based on them, but Ellen loved hers so much that she talked about it on her own show the next episode.

42. The way she introduced Portia on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." The pair appeared for their first interview as a married couple in November 2009. Ellen introduced her wife as "the smartest, kindest, most wonderful woman that you'll ever, ever know."

43. She invited Psy on her show to teach her and Britney how to dance "Gangnam Style." After Britney tweeted that she wanted to learn the "Gangnam Style" moves, Ellen surprised her with a lesson by none other than Psy himself. We're just sad that Simon Cowell wasn't there to join the fun.

44. She says she doesn't regret anything. In 2007, Ellen told Vanity Fair: "I don't have any regrets or I wouldn't be the person I am today."

45. She started her own record label. Ellen launched eleveneleven in 2010, demonstrating once again that she's not afraid to try something new.

46. She may or may not be related to Kate Middleton. In 2011, Ellen claims she received a letter from the New England Genealogical Society stating that she and the Duchess of Cambridge are 15th cousins. We'll take it.

47. She's danced with POTUS and FLOTUS on her show. Jealous!

48. She hangs out with animals. As well as the aforementioned sloth, Ellen has invited an orangutan, an anaconda, and an owl to join her on set.

49. She refused to wear a dress for W magazine when she was featured on their cover in 2007. Ellen told interviewer Bridget Foley: "When I [first] thought about doing it, I thought, Okay, I'll be open to this. I'll play dress-up. Then I thought, I just don't feel comfortable in it. I don't want to apologize for who I am."

This list wouldn't be complete without some of our favorite moments from her TV show, including...

50. Testing out the Hawaii Chair.

51. Scaring celebrities in general -- but mostly Taylor Swift.

52. Getting "the lowdown" on Justin Timberlake's underwear.

53. The time she sent Dennis Quaid to Starbucks.

54. Discovering young singers Sophia Grace and Rosie -- and their rendition of "Super Bass."

55. The time she drove a firetruck through Hollywood. Please let this woman have 55 more great years ahead.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article referred to the teenage honorary CoverGirl as Tara Castellano. Her name is in fact Talia Castellano.

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Amy Poehler

    Just when we thought that the "Saturday Night Live" performer and Upright Citizens Brigade co-founder had left more than her mark on comedy, she goes and stars in "Parks and Recreation," one of the funniest shows on television, as Leslie Knope, one of the best TV characters in recent memory.

  • Tina Fey

    The "30 Rock" creator/star's legacy cannot be overstated: Fey was also the first female head writer for "Saturday Night Live."

  • Ellen DeGeneres

    Not only does Ellen's enviable career include a successful sitcom, a beloved talk show, an Oscar hosting gig and not to mention countless masterful stand-up specials, but she also gets to go home to Portia de Rossi. Best life ever.

  • Maria Bamford

    Maria Bamford's unique, off-kilter stand-up, which features dimensions of characters rarely seen in a comedy club, has earned her a rightful place as one of the patron saints of comedy today.

  • Samantha Bee

    As one of the longest-running correspondents on "The Daily Show," Samantha Bee remains one of the most consistently sharp and funny performers that give the show its unique edge. She also put out a book last year, "I Know I Am, But What Are You?"

  • Joy Behar

    You might know her best from "The View" and "The Joy Behar Show," but Behar started out as a standup 30 years ago, quickly becoming a fixture in the New York comedy scene.

  • Sara Benincasa

    New York standup and storyteller, Sara Benincasa, became a YouTube sensation for her Sarah Palin impressions during the 2008 elections.

  • Sandra Bernhard

    Actress, comedian, and provocateur Sandra Bernhard is a bona fide comedy rock star. And if you aren't following her twitter feed, you aren't really on twitter. Check out @sandrabernhard

  • Leah Bonnema

    Leah Bonnema is a New York City comedian and actress, as well as a self-described "classy broad and loud mouth." If she keeps making us laugh, she can be as loud as she wants.

  • Desiree Burch

    Desiree Burch is a classically trained actress, as well as a writer and standup comedian. We'd call her a triple threat, but she's so talented there are probably a few more threats than that involved.

  • Lisa Lampanelli

  • Michelle Buteau

    The adorably wicked Michele Buteau has been delighting audiences all over the country for years. She appeared on seasons 5 and 6 of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" and has performed at Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot and more.

  • Margaret Cho

    It's hard to keep track of Margaret Cho's job these days: whether she's doing stand-up, one-woman shows, dancing with the stars, performing burlesque or more recently recording pop music, the San Francisco icon is always charming and envelope-pushing.

  • Michelle Collins

    The diva of VH1's "Best Week Ever," Michelle Collins has been making the rounds on talk shows and awards shows alike for the last few years. She recently won LOGO's NewNowNext Award for "Breakout Comic," and in 2009, Michelle was crowned ECNY's Best Female Comedian in New York and was featured as a "Comedian to Watch" in YRB Magazine.

  • Whitney Cummings

    Although relatively new on the comedy scene, Whitney Cummings' hilarious stand-up specials, celebrity roasts and talk show spots have made her a comedian to look out for.

  • Susie Essman

    You know you've accomplished something special when people stop you on the street and ask you to curse them out. Susie Essman's years on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" made her a household name, but her biting standup is what has made her a favorite amongst her comedy peers.

  • Negin Farsad

    Negin Farsad is a one-woman force: comedian, writer, actor, director, and producer. She got her start while getting her masters in race relations at Columbia University by day, and doing comedy at night.

  • Rachel Feinstein

    New York City favorite, Rachel Feinstein, recently appeared in her first "Comedy Central Presents" special. She's the only comedian we've seen who can go from embodying her grandmother in one breath and a predatory guy on the street in the next and be equally convincing at both.

  • Erin Foley

    A favorite on both coasts, actor and comedian Erin Foley has appeared in numerous roles on big screens and small, most notably as the furious fact checker in Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous."

  • Marina Franklin

    Nominated this year for an ECNY Award for Best Female Standup, Marina Franklin can be scene in "The Awkward Comedy Show" film, which premiered on Comedy Central.

  • Jena Friedman

    Comedian, writer and actor Jena Friedman has had her work featured in New York Magazine, Glamour and more, and she will appear this year at SXSW, Boston Women In Comedy Festival and the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

  • Janeane Garofalo

    In addition to being one of the pioneers of the "alternative comedy" scene in the '90s and starring in shows like "The Larry Sanders Show" and "The Ben Stiller Show," Garofalo distinct, biting voice is also seen in movies like "Reality Bites" and as a champion of many left-wing causes.

  • Bonnie McFarlane

    Brilliant stand-up comedian, Bonnie McFarlane is not only one of the most consistently fun people to see perform live, she also recently released her directorial debut "Women Aren't Funny."

  • Garfunkel and Oates

    Garfunkel and Oates, the musical collaboration between actress/singer-songwriters Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, will shoot an HBO pilot soon. The comedy folk duet's dizzying lyrical cleverness has impressed millions with their songs such as "Pregnant Women Are Smug," "Sex with Ducks" and "This Party Took a Turn for the Douche."

  • Helen Hong

    Helen Hong has been featured in the New York Underground Comedy Festival and has been a repeat finalist in New York's Funniest Standup competition.

  • Adrienne Iapalucci

    Another ECNY nominee for Best Female Standup, Adrienne Iapalucci is poised to become one of the next big thing's in comedy. She was featured last year at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival in the highly competitive "New Faces" showcase.

  • Anjelah Johnson

    Former "MadTV" cast member, Anjelah Johnson seems to have been touring with her standup non-stop for the last few years, much to the delight of audiences all over the country.

  • Ellie Kemper

    Nobody can deny that one of the best parts of the last few seasons of "The Office" is the sweetly naive receptionist Erin. Kemper has cool cred, too -- she's a UCB Theatre regular and is listed as a contributing writer to The Onion.

  • Karen Kilgariff

    Karen Kilgariff may be best known for days on "Mr. Show," but if you haven't seen her perform live, you're missing something truly special. Her dry wit, funny songs, and lovely voice make her one of our favorite people to see.

  • Laurie Kilmartin

    Laurie Kilmartin is a staff writer for "Conan" and has been featured at Montreal, Aspen and Edinburgh comedy festivals.

  • Jen Kirkman

    LA Comedian, writer and actress Jen Kirkman has written for "Perfect Couples" on NBC, and E!'s "Chelsea Lately." She was also the narrator of HBO's "Drunk History" which received the Jury Prize for "Best Short Film" at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010.

  • Julie Klausner

    Julie Klausner is a comedian, writer and actress who released her first book, "I Don't Care About Your Band" just last year. Her writing has been featured in New York Times, New York Magazine.com, and Salon.

  • Jessi Klein

    Jessi Klein has written for "Saturday Night Live," "Michael & Michael Have Issues," and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." She was also recently featured in her own half hour "Comedy Central Presents."

  • Natasha Leggero

    Natasha Leggero is well-known from sitting on the judges panel of last season's "Last Comic Standing," but Leggero's stand-up and character performances in everything from "Reno 911!" to "The Sarah Silverman Program" are the stuff of genius. (Her podcast with partner Duncan Trussell, The Lavender Hour, is worth a listen as well.)

  • Kathleen Madigan

    After winning Last Comic Standing, Kathleen Madigan has been a fixture on late night television and comedy clubs all over the country.

  • Morgan Murphy

    If you're like us and you continue to be impressed by the sharp writing on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," you can thank Morgan Murphy. But Murphy's well-crafted and self-deprecating stand-up comedy is truly where she shines.

  • Christine Nangle

    Currently a staff writer for "Saturday Night Live" Christine Nangle is one of the rising stars of the New York comedy scene.

  • Tig Notaro

    Tig Notaro is one of those stand-up comics who can't quite be categorized, but whose palpably dry act never fails to send audiences into scores of laughter. If you're in Los Angeles, her monthly show "Tig Notaro and Friends" at Largo is a can't-miss.

  • Kelly Oxford

    Kelly Oxford was introduced to a large audience in the most auspicious of mediums: Twitter. Her tweets proved definitively that sometimes, a Canadian stay-at-home mom can pack more sarcastic wit into 140 characters than Hollywood can fit in a $140 million movie.

  • Chelsea Peretti

    You probably were a fan of Chelsea Peretti without knowing it, thanks to her early ventures of the New York City Rejection Line and the satirical site Black People Love Us. But Peretti has only continued to grow in popularity, writing for "The Sarah Silverman Program," appearing on "Louie," performing stand-up in sold out shows around the country and being named one of Variety's "Ten Comics to Watch."

  • Aubrey Plaza

    Representing a disaffected yet undeniably likable generation is Aubrey Plaza, best known for her scene-stealing performances as a snarky comedian in "Funny People," a snarky barista in "Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World" and a snarky intern in "Parks and Recreation."

  • Caroline Rhea

    Caroline Rhea has had a lot of success on television, particularly with hit series "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" but she's always come back to her first love, standup.

  • Joan Rivers

    Why Joan Rivers? Because she's funnier and works harder than comedians half her age, maybe? If you haven't seen the recent, brilliant documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work," do yourself a favor and witness this comedic force in action.

  • Andrea Rosen

    Andrea Rosen is a NYC comedy fixture, as well as a very recognizable face from her numerous commercial and television roles. Her wacky stories and playful demeanor make her a standout whenever she takes the stage.

  • Kristen Schaal

    Schaal has stalked Flight of the Concords on HBO, lent her unique voice to an Oscar-winning Pixar movie, provided sharp social critiques on "The Daily Show," and even wrote a shockingly funny about sex with her partner. And it seems this is only the beginning of the Kristen Schaal empire of aborableness.

  • Sara Schaefer

    Sara Schaefer is a comedian, writer and performer who is currently the Editor of Jimmy Fallon's two-time Emmy-winning blog. She's also nominated this year for an ECNY Award for Best Female Standup.

  • Amy Schumer

    After being a finalist on "Last Comic Standing," Amy Schumer has been performing relentlessly, delighting audiences large and small with her playfully dark wit.

  • Livia Scott

    Livia Scott has been called a "character chameleon extraordinaire," and we agree. The actress, comedian and writer got her start in NYC as a member of all-female sketch group Meat, but has sense launched a formidable solo career.

  • Amy Sedaris

    If you've never watched "Strangers With Candy," stop reading this slideshow right now and get to it (it's on Instant Netflix). Sedaris has also been a craftsperson, movie actress and, like her brother Dave, fantastically entertaining author.

  • Sarah Silverman

    Silverman has been performing stand-up comedy since she was a teenager, eventually starring in her own stand-up concert movie ("Jesus Is Magic") and TV show ("The Sarah Silverman Program").

  • Jenny Slate

    Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member, Jenny Slate, is a comedian and actress and one of the superstars of the alternative comedy scene in NYC.