The List: Ranking bears from un-bear-able to remem-bear-able

Andy Downing

This week is the final run of the Whiskey Bear Comedy Festival. With that in mind, we thought we'd paws for a moment to rank some famed bears. Bring on the uproar.


Just no.

Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear

The “Toy Story 3” villain rules like a cult leader, hiding his evil ways beneath a benevolent façade. Not to mention he nearly incinerated Woody, Buzz and the rest of the gang.

The Berenstain Bears

I'm one of those folks who swears that it was always Berenstein Bears, so this reality, by its very existence, is upsetting to me.

Bear claws

These pastries are essentially oversized doughnuts, so that'll be a hard pass from this guy.

Bear Grylls

Formerly a Special Air Service serviceman, Grylls is best known as the survivalist on the TV series “Man vs. Wild” who drank his own urine for instructional purposes.

The bear from “The Revenant”

Sure, this beast nearly tore poor Leo completely to shreds, but at least it never drank its own pee on TV.

Timothy Treadwell

Better known as Grizzly Man, Treadwell was a conservationist and documentary filmmaker who founded a bear-protection organization, Grizzly People, and stumped for the animal's preservation right up to the moment he was killed and eaten by an Alaskan brown bear in 2008, a traumatic (and sadly predictable) circumstance captured in the 2005 documentary “Grizzly Man.”

Winnie the Pooh

The generally lovable, honey-obsessed stuffed bear was the calming center in a universe filled with manic-depressive personalities (see: Eeyore and Tigger).


I've rediscovered this one reading to our daughter, and it's such a sweet, simple story.


There have been numerous permutations of “The Jungle Book,” but none tops the 1967 animated Disney original, due in part to the version of “The Bare Necessities” crooned by the jovial, rhythm-blessed Baloo.

Walter Payton

Late Chicago Bears running back Sweetness is among the greatest to grace the gridiron.

The Hair Bear Bunch

I have vivid recollections of watching “Help!... It's the Hair Bear Bunch!” as a child, which featured three animated bears, one complete with a wild yellow afro, who (and I had to Google this just to make sure memory served) rode around on an invisible motorcycle. The amount of drugs consumed in the making of this show had to be unrivaled.

Fozzie Bear

Though close, Fozzie isn't quite the best Muppet (that would be Rowlf the Dog; don't @ me). Still, it's impressive how the fuzzy comedian also captures the underlying sadness common to many standups.


I defy you to watch “Paddington 2” and not be charmed.