Popular comedian and meme personality Juan Joya Borja, generally know as “El Risitas”, passed away at the Virgen del Rocío Clinic in Seville this Wednesday evening. Preceding his passing, Joya was moved from the Clinic de la Caridad de Sevilla to the Medical clinic Universitario Virgen del Rocío de Sevilla, after an unexpected backslide of an illness he was confronting. While the illness isn’t as of now known, it required Joya’s leg to be amputated in September of 2020. It doesn’t seem, by all accounts, to be Coronavirus related.
Joya was initially brought into the world in Seville, Spain. He maintained various sources of income for the duration of his life including dumping sacks of concrete and cooking. In 2005, he showed up in his first film Torrente 3: El Defender.
Joya is most known in America for a 2007 interview on Jesús Quintero’s show Ratones Coloraos. On the show, he spoke about an incident when he worked as a kitchen porter. He shared an anecdote about leaving paella pans at night in the ocean to soak and clean. In the story, when he went to retrieve the pans, they had washed out to sea with the tide. He frequently interrupts his story to laugh which has since become his signature trademark.
This video was first used in 2014 by the Muslim Brotherhood to parody the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. In 2015, Joya spiked in popularity when a video was published with him acting as an Apple Engineer talking about a new MacBook.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHZ8ek-6ccc&t=1s
In 2019, FrankerFaceZ, a twitch extension, added an emote with a zoomed-in still image of Joya’s face to it’s emote library. The emote was labeled KEKW. As of 2021, over 100,000 channels have enabled the KEKW emote on Twitch. It is reported that over 250 million KEKWs have been used in twitch chat. The emote is also wildly popular on the chat platform Discord where many variations of the emote can be found.
He was 64 years old at the time of his death.