Juan Joya Borja, also known as “El Risitas,” has died in Seville, Spain, according to ABC Seville. He was 65 years old.
On Twitch, he was known as the face of the “KEKW” emote. He was also known for his signature laugh, which came from a 2007 interview in which he was sharing an anecdote. In the interview, Risitas tells a hilarious story about his first day working at a restaurant by the ocean.
He spins a yarn about moldy pans being left for the salty ocean to clean. He tied the pans to a stick by the ocean, but when he got there to open in the morning, only one of the 20 pans remained. The tide had risen and swept the rest out to sea.
His uproarious laughter and facial expressions sent the clip viral on Reddit in 2014. Eventually, the clip’s popularity and the parodies made of it led to his face being used for the “KEKW” emote, which is used in comedic moments.
El Risitas was reportedly admitted to the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville for an illness and passed away this afternoon. He had been in a hospital since September 2020 and allegedly suffered an amputation of a leg as a result of the illness.
The clip in question was filmed in 2007. “El Risitas” roughly translates to “little laughs” or “the giggles” in English.