KEKW is an emote created for the streaming website Twitch.tv as part of the FrankerFaceZ collection.
It features Spanish comedian/actor “El Risitas” (real name: Juan Joya Borja) with a close-up shot of his laughing face, focusing on his moustache and almost toothless mouth.
The emote can be used to express an outburst of laughter, as well as a wide range of other emotions, similar to the PogU emote.
“KEKW” was created from screenshots of a Spanish meme that features a portrait of a man laughing hysterically. The original image was taken from an interview, where El Risitas (the man in the photo) burst into laughter while telling a story to the host of the Spanish television show.
The interview was first aired on Ratones Coloraos in 2007, and videos uploaded to YouTube in the subsequent years, spawning countless parodies.
Given the high-pitched laugh of El Risitas while telling the story, the video has spawned a series of videos on YouTube, which has led to viewers of Twitch creating an emote from a screenshot of his face.
The emote was uploaded to the FrankerFaceZ collection of Twitch in August 2019, which is a browser extension that enhances your viewing experience by adding new unique emotes, chat features, etc.
The spread of “KEKW” can be attributed to its use by prominent Twitch streamers, such as xQc and AdmiralBulldog, who further increased its exposure and popularity on the streaming platform. This prompted a rapid surge in the popularity of the emote, and it has since become one of the most frequently used emotes on Twitch.
The emote can also be encountered outside Twitch, as a reaction image macro, as well as a reaction GIF, expressing uncontrollable laughter.