Once-struggling comedian Marc Maron has the last laugh

Marc Maron’s moment to shine 04:18

Marc Maron is an overnight sensation decades in the making.

The 50-year-old comic has made a name for himself interviewing celebrities ranging from Ben Stiller to Mel Brooks, Will Ferrell and Robin Williams, all from inside his garage, CBS News correspondent Carter Evans reports.

It's taken the comedian a long time to get his act together.

"If you're lucky and you're a comic, you get a chance to sort of pitch your life," Maron told CBS News. "'How about a guy who interviews celebrities in his garage and can't keep his life together and he's always at the end of his rope?' 'Oh that sounds interesting.' 'I'm living it!'"

In its second season, "Maron" (IFC) depicts the life of a comic who's resurrected his career with a low-budget podcast after years of struggling on- and off-stage.

Maron spent years on the stand-up and late-night talk show circuits, but never quite broke through. His personal brand of comedy alienated friends and family.

After decades in show business, Maron was becoming jealous of his contemporaries.

"Always remember, bitterness is always just amplified self-pity," Maron said.

He was struggling from years of drinking and drug use. By 2009, he was back to square one.

"When you do something for half your life, there's no Plan B," he said. "There's that moment where you're in your mid-40s and you're like, 'Ah well, this isn't working out, I could always . . . huh . . . there used to be things in that folder. Nothing?'"

But a series of failed stints as a radio host led Maron to a third act. He moved to Los Angeles and started interviewing fellow comics in his garage.

"I was kind of broke, I didn't know where the money was going to come from, and there was no money to be made from the podcast at that time, so I was just very focused on the work," he said. "And I was okay with it. It was pretty exciting, 'cause it was starting to happen. Something was starting to happen."

In the past five years, his tiny makeshift studio has been visited by many of Hollywood's biggest stars. "Now people are a little more familiar with it," Maron said, "but usually what people do is, they walk in, they're like, 'What part of town am I in? Where am I? I didn't even know this existed.'

"Bryan Cranston walked in. He's like, 'So this is it, huh?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, John Hamm was in here.' He's like, 'Oh yeah, Hamm was in here?' You know, like that sorta gave him some credibility."

The intimate setting and extended conversations allow Maron to get A-list entertainers to open up about all aspects of their personal lives and careers.

"WTF With Marc Maron" recently passed two major milestones: its 500th episode, and 100 million downloads.

"There was some cosmic timing in that, out of desperation, I turned to podcasting," Maron said. "Things aligned, so now I can be the comic I wanna be, sell some tickets in some markets, and now I have a TV show on the air . . . Because I was humbled, because I let go of a lot of expectation, I was truly ready to show up for everything that's happened."

The man, who for years was miserable trying to make people laugh, finally has a reason to smile.