Originator of the Twitch Emote “KEKW” Passes Away at the Age of 65

Published 04/29/2021, 1:04 PM EDT


Earlier today, Juan Joya Borja, commonly known on Twitch as ‘Spanish Laughing Guy’, passed away at the age of 65. The Spanish comedian was the originator of the “KEKW” laughing meme commonly used in Twitch chats.

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According to ABC, the comedian was admitted into the Virgen Del Rocio Hospital in Seville and passed away due to a vascular disease later that afternoon. He had been in and out of hospitals since September 2020. This was after he had to have his leg amputated as a result of an illness he was suffering from.

Juan was given the nickname ‘El Ristas’ which translates to ‘little giggles’ in English. This name was assigned to him after an interview he did with Jesus Quintero in June 2007. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that this gem of a clip became popular on the internet.

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In the interview, Juan is asked about his work experience. After initially indicating that he was never cut out for extremely laborious work, he shares a funny incident that he experienced. Back when ‘El Ristas’ worked as a kitchen helper, he was asked to clean the stained pans in the ocean. After tying the pans to a stick, he left them to wash in the ocean overnight. However, when he got there in the morning only one of the 20 pans remained.

Twitch remembers a fallen icon

Following this interview, his high-pitched and erratic laughter during the interview was turned into the “KEKW” meme. This meme features ‘El Ristas’ face and was used in comedic moments mostly by Twitch users.

The passing of this Twitch legend was certainly felt throughout the community. Multiple creators and fans alike have come together to pay tribute to an always smiling and friendly face. Mr. Dalek took to Twitter, remembering the Spanish comedian’s iconic laugh with a heartfelt Tweet. Others spoke about how the ‘KEKW’ meme never failed to brighten up their day. Overall, it is a sad day for Twitch, as it has lost one of its icons.

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Let us know your favorite memory of Juan and the ‘KEKW’ meme in the comments down below.

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Aaron Dias

226 articles

Aaron Dias is an eSports author at EssentiallySports. Currently, he is a student at Xaviers College and is heavily invested in eSports. His interest in eSports began when he was young, with titles like FIFA, WWE, and Grand Theft Auto.

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