Ashokan has acted in more than 100 Malayalam films. Ashokan is now a pop culture icon, through his character Ramanan (from the 1998 film Punjabi House) who is frequently used in Internet memes. He started his career as a mimicry artist in the troupe Harisree and then worked in Kalabhavan.
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Ashokan was born as the sixth child among ten children to Kunjappan and Janaki on April 6, 1964 at Ernakulam, Kochi. He has nine siblings, Raveendran, Sasindran,Mohanan, Anil, Sunil, Santha, Vimala and Sujatha..He had his primary education from MIHS Ernakulam. After tenth he joined Kuyilin's Cochin Kalavedi. He holds a diploma in Telecom Engineering from Ernakulam, Kerala. He found work as an assistant lineman in 1984 with the Telecom Department in Cochin, Kerala. He worked until 1987, when he rose to become a lineman. While working there he joined Kalabhavan and worked for 6 years and later moved to Harisree, after which he began to be called as 'Harisree Ashokan'. His elder brother was also a telecom officer.
Asokan was always interested in acting and was an amateur theatre actor. His style of comedy was watched by the Malayalam movie director Siddique during an event. Siddique was impressed and cast him in his second movie, Ramji Rao Speaking.
Due to unknown reasons, he has acted very few films in the last few years.
He is married to Preetha. The couple have two children, Sreekutty and Arjun.
Asokan is not a direct comedian like Jagathy Sreekumar, Innocent or Salim Kumar. He mostly acts as the hero's sidekick. He has acted as sidekick to actors like Mammooty, Mohanlal, Jayaram, Mukesh, Suresh Gopi, Dileep, Kunchacko Boban, Prithviraj Sukumaran and Jayasurya.