It's a Jungle Out There (song)

"It's a Jungle Out There" is a song written by Randy Newman and used as the theme song for the first two episodes and the complete second season of the TV series Monk. In 2004, it won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music. As the first season's theme song "Monk Theme" had won the same award the previous year, Monk became the first series to have two different theme songs win an Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music in consecutive years.[1] The song is not to be confused with the Harry Nilsson song of the same name from his 1975 album Duit on Mon Dei.

"It's a Jungle Out There"
Song by Randy Newman
Length1:49 (2003 Version) 3:20 (2017 Version)
Songwriter(s)Randy Newman


The lyrics allude to Monk's plethora of fears and warn that some degree of caution and attention is necessary to stay alive, given everyday life's many dangers. The song was used twice in each episode—but see the exception below.


After the end of the first season of Monk, producer David Hoberman approached Randy Newman to create a new theme song. Newman composed the song and played it for Hoberman and Tony Shalhoub. The song debuted in the second season premiere "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School." It remained unpopular with some fans. USA Network reported that they received many complaints from viewers who wanted the series to continue using Jeff Beal's "Monk Theme."[2] Some references to this were made in season 2, episode 12, "Mr. Monk and the T.V. Star," where a character is upset about the detective show changing its theme song, and she claims no one else likes the new song. At the end of the episode, Adrian Monk agrees not to change the theme if he ever gets a T.V. show, and the old theme plays at the end of the episode.

Although the theme song remained the same, the clips used in the title sequence changed three times over the course of the series:

  • The first version, used from "Mr. Monk Goes Back to School" at the start of season 2 through "Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine" halfway through season 3. This version was used in approximately 25 episodes.
  • The shorter second version, used in the second half of season 3 and all of season 4, from "Mr. Monk and the Red Herring" (season 3) through "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty" (season 4). This version was introduced because Bitty Schram quit her role as Sharona Fleming and was replaced by Traylor Howard as Natalie Teeger, necessitating the removal of the title sequence's clips featuring Sharona. This version was used in approximately 23 episodes and replaced several season 1 and season 2 clips with clips from other season 2 and season 3 episodes.
  • The third and final version was used starting in season 5 with the episode "Mr. Monk and the Actor" and through the series finale. This version was used for approximately 64 episodes, and brought in clips from season 4 and season 5 episodes.

Newman wrote another song, "When I'm Gone," for the final episode, "Mr. Monk and the End." The song won the 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics.

Other versionsEdit

Snoop Dogg covered the song for the season 6 episode "Mr. Monk and the Rapper," in which he also played a guest role as Murderuss, a rapper accused of murder.

A rerecorded and expanded version of "It's a Jungle Out There" appears on Newman's 2017 album Dark Matter.[3]



  1. ^ Paula M. Block; Terry Erddman (2007). Monk: The Official Episode Guide. St. Martin's Press. p. 99. ISBN 1429903961.
  2. ^ Paula M. Block; Terry Erddman (2007). Monk: The Official Episode Guide. St. Martin's Press. p. 53. ISBN 1429903961.
  3. ^ Deluca, Dan (September 27, 2017). "Why Randy Newman thinks he's put out his best song yet". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Sioux City Inquirer.