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?

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    @steelerfan - I watched the movie last night and couldn't resist ... Sep 3, 2016 at 18:51
  • Could you elaborate on the scene beyond Mowgli just playing the cowbell, though? What other similarities are there to SNL's cowbell sketch? People do play the cowbell, and sometimes a cowbell is just a cowbell.
    – Walt
    Sep 3, 2016 at 19:09
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    Sorry, I completely forgot that he's played by Walken... You can add that fact to your question, though, in case someone else is as forgetful as me. ;)
    – Walt
    Sep 3, 2016 at 19:18
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    Couldn't be a homage. Not enough cowbell.
    – cde
    Sep 3, 2016 at 20:10
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    We noticed this as well. I feel like it HAS to be. So random otherwise. Like, why would a king of animals in the jungle even have a random cowbell? Sep 8, 2016 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


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.

  • Awesome find! Thanks for the confirmation ... shows I'm not just going cra-cra! :o) Sep 11, 2016 at 18:57

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