I wouldn't have guessed that the biggest highlights of my weekend's Sword and Sorcery Sinema night at the local sci-fi convention would have been Hercules fighting a bear -- twice!
First up, from Hercules in New York, "rated G -- for Great!" as my cohort put it:
Arnold "Strong" fights an escaped zoo animal ("known to be surly and dangerous," but actually looking small and kind of drunk), in Central Park. The whole movie is funnier in the version that dubs Arnold's voice, but this YouTube clip with the Schwarzenegger audio track is still pretty funny. Apart from the bear itself, I love the part where the girl asks Hercules if he has a girlfriend and he says "You know how it is." Smooooth! Plus when she screams in terror and kind of throws her hair over her face.
Next up, Hercules (1983). When I heard that this movie features Lou Ferrigno fighting a bear and throwing it into space, I assumed that the throwing was part of the fighting. Like he was going to spin the bear over his head and toss it in the heat of battle. That would have been funny enough, but fortunately, the filmmakers' imagination outdid mine. He has actually already defeated the bear, but then, upset that it had killed his father (sorry for the spoiler, but really, are you likely to watch this?), his emotional reaction is to pick up the bear and, yup, fling it into outer space. It must be the vast scale of the infinite universe that makes it look like a twirling teddy bear.
Bear #2 (This clip has a goofy intro, but at least there's no ad).
I am not finding any evidence off-hand that Kevin Sorbo's Hercules ever fought a bear on his TV show, but it seems like he must have. I'm sure Sam Raimi has seen these seminal films!