Spanish Laughing Guy / "El Risitas" Interview Parodies
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"El Risitas" Interview Parodies refers to a video remix series based on a TV interview with the Spanish comedian and actor Juan Joya Borja, better known by his nickname "El Risitas" ("The Giggles") stemming from his signature laughter, and a variety of parody subtitles depicting Borja as an employee of a well-known consumer tech or media company who openly mocks his customers, bearing much resemblance to the "And Then I Said…" image macros in tone and the "Hitler Reacts" videos in style of presentation. Videos using the interview are commonly titled "Shocking Interview…". El Risitas is regarded as one of the most prominent meme figures on the french internet, being widely spread on the jeuxvideo.com forums.
In June 2007, Borja was interviewed by host Jesus Quintero on the Spanish-language television program Ratones Coloraos, where he burst into laughter after telling a humorous anecdote about throwing kitchen pans into the sea while working at a beach restaurant as a young man (shown below). On June 21st, the Jesus Quintero YouTube channel uploaded the interview segment, which gained over 1.1 million views over the next eight years (shown below).
On March 28th, 2014, the Thursday Comics YouTube channel uploaded a falsely subtitled version of the interview released by the Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian Islamist movement, which portrays Borja as a man commenting on the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (shown below). Over the next year, the video received upwards of 850,000 views and 920 comments. In October, a group of Egyptian students released a subtitled version of a different interview with Borjas, with captions mocking the private security used to contain protests at Egyptian universities.
On January 30th, 2015, YouTuber ClukosGaming uploaded a subtitled version of the interview depicting Borja as a designer for the GTX 970, graphic card, claiming that the hardware was deliberately sabotaged (shown below, left). On February 1st, Reditor brighterside submitted the video to the /r/gaming subreddit. Within one month, the video garnered more than 780,000 views on YouTube and 2,700 votes (85% upvoted) on Reddit. The same day, YouTuber chicane486 uploaded a video portraying Borja as a Team Fortress 2 employee, who jokes about the various unpopular changes made to the first-person shooter game. On February 2nd, Redditor Reniva posted the video on the /r/tf2 subreddit, where it gathered upwards of 1,000 votes (88% upvoted) in the next three weeks.
On the following day, YouTuber Dota 420 posted a video titled "Shocking interview with Valve Dota 2 employee," in which Borja is translated as a Valve employee poking fun at Defense of the Ancients 2 players (shown below, left). On February 4th, YouTuber DirtyNoona uploaded a subtitled video titled "Interview with an OC Transpo employee," in which Borja is depicted as an uncaring employee for the bus transit service OC Transpo in Ottawa and Carleton, Canada (shown below, right).
Use In Twitch Emotes
Close-ups of Borja ' face from the interview have been used as custom Twitch emotes, starting with the addition of KEKW emote by FrankerFacez user Keesual in August 2019 (shown below, left).
Health Issues and Death
In 2020, Juan Joya Borja suffered health issues including diabetes and an infection which resulted in the amputation of a leg, and left him hospitalized for several months. Following the news of his condition, jeuxvideo.com's forum user cutface launched a donation campaign that eventually raised approximately 14,000€ to cover for Risitas's medical care and purchase him an electric wheelchair.
On March the 5th, 2021, El Risitas and his peers released a reaction and thank you video following the delivery of the wheelchair, hosted on cutface's YouTube channel (shown below).
On April 28th, 2021, Juan Joya Borja died from complications of his illness at the age of 65.
 YouTube – Canal Oficial – Jesús Quintero
 Wikipedia – Jesús Quintero
 Reddit – Nvidia on their release of the GTX 970.
 Reddit – SHOCKING interview with Valve/TF2 employee
 El Mundo – Los islamistas egipcios 'contratan' al 'Risitas' para burlarse de Al Sisi
 El Mundo – Estudiantes antigubernamentales egipcios recurren al 'Risitas' para mofarse del régimen
 Hitek.fr – El Risitas : la star du web est très mal en point, une cagnotte est levée
 BBC News – El Risitas: Man behind 'Spanish laughing guy' meme dies
Feb 18, 2015 at 08:13PM EST
Apr 28, 2021 at 04:43PM EDT
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