In the movie The Jungle Book (2016), there is a scene where Mowgli meets King Louis (voiced by Christopher Walken) in the temple. Just before Louis comes out, Mowgli picks up a cowbell and makes some noises with it ... was this scene in any way homage to Christopher Walken's Cowbell skit on Saturday Night Live?
Yes. Jungle Book director Jon Favreau confirmed it in an interview once they got around to the subject of casting and Christopher Walken. He intentionally replaced another prop with it for this homage:
Interviewer: Loved the cowbell reference by the way. So meta!
Favreau: Did you catch it? I'm so glad it's in there. That was an on-set discovery. That was a prop in the background that I pulled and I said, "Oh my god, this is what Mowgli has to use". I knew he had to touch something that would get the attention of King Louie and I saw the cowbell off to the side and I pulled that in and swapped it out for the prop that we had designed for it.