The man behind the El Risitas meme or the KEKW Guy that went viral over the years has died today, Apr. 28.
In the US, the meme is best known as Spanish Laughing Guy.
Comedian and TV personality Juan Joya Borja was 65 years old and died after suffering a recurrent medical condition which also led him to lose one of his legs. According to Spanish newspapers, he has been hospitalized since Sept. 2020.
Once fans realized he had become seriously ill with diabetes and other illnesses, they sent out thousands of euros for his medical care.
Just before his death, the star of the viral El Risitas meme was able to thank all of the fans for their donations.
El Risitas, which is translated to Little Giggles in English, is not only known for his comedic career in Spain, he was also popular as a KEKW, a Twitch TV emotion. It is an extension to the platform that allows a new set of emotions.
His face is often used to express happiness or in a reaction as to when something hilarious happens within a stream.
According to Stream Elements, Borja as KEKW has been used widely across Twitch, to the point that it has become one of the most utilized emotes on the platform.
El Risitas Meme: The Viral Video
Juan Joya Borja's 2007 interview became viral after hearing his laugh where he was sharing an anecdote.
In the interview, he recalled a hilarious story about his first day working at a restaurant by the sea.
The face of the El Risitas meme sun a yard about moldy pans being left for the salty ocean to clean, tied them to a stick by the ocean and left them overnight.
By the time he went to check on his supposed clean pans by morning, he was surprised that only one of the 20 pans remained where he left it.
The tide had eventually risen and swept the rest of his pans out to the sea.
However, the Spanish man's hysterical laughter and facial expressions didn't go viral until 2014. It first emerged on Reddit during that time.
Eventually, the video's popularity and the parodies made about it birthed the KEKW emote, as previously mentioned, in Twitch, which is used in hilarious moments.
Tribute To The Death of El Risitas Meme Guy
RIP El Risitas— 🖤🤍 Maddie thee Baddie 🖤🤍 (@heyitsMaddie_x) April 28, 2021
You will be immortalised forever for that meme pic.twitter.com/L8QQJPv1cz
A lot of Twitch streamers have paid tributes to Juan Joya Borja.
TSM Hazed said on Twitter, "The amount of joy this man brought to the world is just unfathomable. KEKW should be a Twitch staple."
Other fans, who know who Borja is, also posted pictures and sweet tributes to the comedian.
MrDalekJD said, "No one is going to forget that infectious KEKW laughs anytime soon."