At the risk of making a grand proclamation, there are very few people who are generally agreed upon as being universally beloved. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Ellen DeGeneres is one of them. We won’t venture a guess as to any of the others, because that would mean stepping into far murkier and controversial territory. Ellen, however, is a sure bet.
It’s not just the delightful dancing or viral Oscar selfies, nor is it the pranks that she pulls both with and on celebrities like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. DeGeneres was making history even before most of America knew her as an extremely successful syndicated talk-show host. She was the first woman ever called to the couch to sit down on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson when she appeared to do stand-up in November 1986. She came out publicly on her eponymous sitcom in 1997. She’s hosted the Emmys and the Oscars and is a spokesperson for CoverGirl.
Oh, and did you know that Ellen even has one of those National Days, like National Pecan Pie Day or National Hug Day? That’s right; January 26 — which is also DeGeneres’ birthday — has been declared National Ellen DeGeneres Day. If that’s not a sign of universal belovedness, we’re not quite sure what is. They don’t just hand out those days to anyone or anything. You have to be a type of baked good, an adorable furry creature, or an intimate action.
Since it’s our gal’s birthday and official day, we’re celebrating all the times she’s made us laugh. Because really, that’s what she does best. She makes people smile. Sometimes pranking is involved — okay, pranking is usually involved. We’re okay with that, especially when it includes David Beckham.