THE man behind the ‘Laughing Spanish Guy’ meme video has passed away in a Seville hospital according to local media.
Spanish comedian, Juan Joya Borja, otherwise known as ‘El Risitas’ became an internet sensation after a video emerged in 2014 on him recounting a story on national television.
Internet whiz’s soon leapt on the video, adding subtitles and using Borja’s infectious laugh to gain him global notoriety.
The video in question was filmed back in 2007 on a show called Ratones Coloraos, where he was being interviewed by show host and long time collaborator Jesús Quintero.
Borja, 65, was recounting a story about he once worked as a kitchen helper, and one night he left 20 paella dishes in the sea to wash them, and when he returned the next day they had all bar one been swept away.
Borja’s high pitched laugh and toothless smile, along with the hosts reaction to the video captured the hearts and funny bones of people around the world, amassing over millions of views worldwide.
In his personal life, Borja had been admitted with health issues to the Virgen de Rocio hospital in Seville last year.
In March he took to social media to thank fans and well wishers for an online crowd funding camaign to buy him an electric mobility scooter after he had to have a leg amputated due to his illness.
Unfortunately, Borja’s health took a turn last week and ABC Sevilla reported on Wednesday that he had died.
Spanish celebrities and friends paid tribute to the veteran comedian on social media.
“An unquestionable benchmark of Andalusian humour of our time, El Risitas was an icon of my childhood.” said one Twitter user.
“Of simple origins, he knew how to carry the cheekiness, humility and joy of the Barrio of San Pablo to the farthest reaches of our universe, DEP.”