Juan Joya Borja, the comedian behind ‘Spanish Laughing Guy’, one of the most enduring Internet memes, has died at age 65. According to a Spanish publication, Borja has long struggled with an unspecified illness, which involved the amputation of his leg in September 2020. He passed away at the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville.
Borja stage name is ‘El Risitas’, which translates into ‘Giggles’. Borja got the name for his unique laugh, made famous during an interview on the Spanish variety show, Ratones Coloraos.
In the clip, Borja recounts his time working at a restaurant as a young man and how he accidentally allowed 20 paella dishes to be swept away into the ocean. Borja struggled to finish his story, as he couldn’t resist breaking into his now-iconic laugh in between sentences.
The clip went viral in 2014, with the Internet replacing the original interaction with storylines of their own. The consistent theme is that Borja is someone who can barely contain his laughter while retelling an absurd real-life situation, such as Brexit, Donald Trump becoming president, and the lack of USB ports for the new Macbook Pro. Most recently, he had been immortalized on Twitch as one of its emotes.