Entertainment

Viral star El Risitas – known for the ‘Spanish Laughing Guy’ meme – dies at 65

Juan Joya Borja had people in stitches with his distinctive laugh (Picture: YouTube)

Viral star Juan Joya Borja – known as the man behind the ‘Spanish Laughing Guy’ meme – has died aged 65, with tributes pouring in.

The Spanish comedian and actor, aptly nicknamed ‘El Risitas’ (‘The Giggles’) is best remembered for bringing millions of people joy with his distinctive laugh, when he was interviewed on Spanish TV.

The star told a story about his time working at a restaurant and could not hold it together, descending into fits of giggles.

According to ABC de Sevilla, Borja died on Wednesday in hospital.

He was admitted for health issues last year.

Tributes have poured in for the star, who was also known as the face of the ‘KEKW’ emoji on Twitch.

‘Aww man… RIP to El Risitas, an absolute internet legend,’ one fan wrote. ‘No one is going to forget that infectious KEKW laugh anytime soon.’

‘Today the legend, El Risitas, has passed away,’ another said. ‘Thank you for giving us all so many laughs. R.I.P. Juan Joya Borja.’

‘Juan Joya Borja, Spanish comedian more known as “El Risitas”, “The Giggles” passed away today at the age of 65,’ one more said. ‘He was known for his laugh that everyone love. Giving my condolences to the affected family and friends.’

Borja first went viral in 2014, when his interview got the meme treatment.

In his original clip, he told the story of how he once left 20 paella dishes overnight in the sea to clean when he worked at a restaurant, only to return the next day and find they’d been swept away.

His laugh left viewers in stitches, and fans went on to type unrelated subtitles over the clip, to place him and his laugh in different situations.

Two clips of the original interview have racked up eight and five million views apiece on YouTube, and that’s not to mention the countless parodies also uploaded.


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