Spanish comedian Juan Joya Borja, whose infectious laughter brought him global fame, passed away at the age of 65.
Better known by the nickname El Risitas, which means Giggles, the comedian became known on the internet as “Spanish laugh guy”.
After appearances on national television, Borja went viral in 2014, when people started dubbing subtitles on top of him laughing telling a story.
He died on Wednesday in the hospital, according to local media.
Borja was hospitalized for health problems last year. In March, he thanked fans for organizing a fundraising campaign to buy him an electric scooter after one of his legs was amputated.
The comedian found fame some 20 years ago, after appearing on television programs presented by Jesús Quintero.
His famous clip came from the Spanish program Ratones Coloraos, where he was interviewed by the presenter about his ill-fated experience as a kitchen helper.
In the clip, uploaded to the program’s YouTube in 2007, Borja told Quintero how he once left 20 plates of paella in the sea overnight to clean them, only to return the next morning and find that the tide had swept everyone away except a.
The story left him and the host hitting the table in fits of uncontrollable laughter – with wheezing breathing and the almost toothless smile characteristic of Borja stealing the show.
Years later, around 2014, internet users started posting the clip again with unrelated captions – as well as parodies of a scene from the movie Downfall, depicting Adolf Hitler’s last days.
Borja has been dubbed laughing hysterically in several languages on everything from Egyptian politics to Apple’s latest product launch.
These versions of the videos, as well as the original, have already accumulated millions of views – consolidating Borja’s Internet reputation.
His smiling face remains popular online today, including being used as an emoticon on the Twitch game streaming platform.
Spanish media personalities and social media users have paid tribute.